Non-invasive brain stimulation: an old tool into the hands of modern translational research
University of Verona (Italy)
09 Jun 2023 13:00
Aketxe Room, Sede Building, Leioa
The idea of modulating brain activity with a non-invasive approach has always been one of the major goals of neurophysiology and to a broad extent, of modern neurology and psychiatry, since the associated disorders are often the consequences of dynamic plastic changes of the neural networks. Well before the discovery of the physical phenomenon, electricity was used as a therapeutical tool but only the last few decades saw the development of effective non-invasive neuromodulatory techniques. Among them, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has recently emerged as a safe and economic tool to guide neuroplasticity and modulate cortical function by tonic stimulation with weak direct currents. Despite its wide use in human studies, some underlying mechanisms of action have been clarified only recently and the vast majority is still to be elucidated. In recent years, I am focusing on the study of indirect effects of tDCS and the influence of brain state during stimulation, in different preclinical models in both physiological and pathological conditions. In particular, we explored prefrontal tDCS influence on dorsal raphe activity and, in the motor cortex, the effects of combining tDCS with physical activity.