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Open Access Assessing the Structural and Functional Effects of Neuromodulation Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Neuromodulation is a growing industry that promises to treat many disabling psychiatric (e.g., mood disorders) and other neurologic disorders (e.g., stroke). Given these claims, it is important to advocate for research to examine these assertions so that the best interests of patients and the general public are protected. With this in mind, this review examines the current literature regarding three commonly used neuromodulation methods (cranial stimulation therapy (CES), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and transcranial magnetic therapy (TMS)), focusing on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods of assessing any therapeutic effects. Currently, the effort to validate these methods using state-of-the-art MRI methods is in its infancy though there are a growing number of studies that demonstrate objective MRI findings that illustrate therapeutic effects. The possible benefits of using MRI to study the biological underpinnings of any neuromodulation effects, to improve delivery of treatment, and to further the science of neuromodulation are described along with suggestions for future research directions.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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