Research Topic

Prevention Neuroscience: The brain as Predictor, Mediator and Moderator in Disease Prevention Research

About this Research Topic

Prevention neuroscience is concerned with the interplay of brain and environment in the production of behaviors that have implications for the initial development and subsequent progression of chronic diseases.

Obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and addictions all have impacts on the brain, but also have their roots in certain behavior patterns that are established early and become entrenched over time; such behaviors are also critically informed by the brain at several levels.

Parameters of brain structure and function may, therefore, serve as outcomes of chronic diseases -reflecting the cumulative impact of chronic disease on the central nervous system but also determinants of the behaviors that give rise to the disease in the first place.

More complex perspectives may moreover consider the brain as a mediator of behavioral processes, as well as a moderator of treatment effects on such outcomes.

This Research Topic will collect research that fits into one or more of these scenarios and will provide a venue for the expansion of the scope of human neuroscience to include disease prevention research.

To date, the examination of the brain as an outcome of chronic illness is relatively common, but studies examining the brain as predictor, mediator and moderator of chronic disease outcomes are comparatively rare. Important work is emerging using brain function as a way of evaluating effective health communications, mediating the link between environment and eating behavior, and the brain as a determinant of responsivity to behavioral intervention.

Yet there remains a large volume of findings that have not previously been brought together in a coherent manner, with an eye toward the understanding of disease prevention per se.

This special Topic aims to accomplish this integrative objective, and will include studies that examine the role of the brain as mediator, moderator, predictor or outcome, wherein the disease of interest is chronic in nature, and is potentially preventable.

Subtopics can include opioid use, cannabis, eating, exercise, sleep, sexual practices or other lifestyle behaviors that confer chronic disease risk; disease-related subtopics can include any physical or psychiatric disease that is considered chronic in nature; examples include obesity, heart disease, cancer, addictions, as well as depression, schizophrenia, or anxiety disorders.

Original research articles are preferred, but systematic reviews (more preferred) and narrative reviews (less preferred) may be considered as well, specifically where they summarize research literature that has not yet been approached in review form.

Methodologically speaking, any study that includes neuroimaging and/or neuromodulation is encouraged, with a special emphasis on fNIRS, fMRI, rTMS, and tES respectively. Methods papers that focus on the use of any of these techniques in the context of disease prevention research will be considered as well.


Keywords: disease prevention, imaging, brain stimulation, fNIRS, fMRI, rTMS


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Prevention neuroscience is concerned with the interplay of brain and environment in the production of behaviors that have implications for the initial development and subsequent progression of chronic diseases.

Obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and addictions all have impacts on the brain, but also have their roots in certain behavior patterns that are established early and become entrenched over time; such behaviors are also critically informed by the brain at several levels.

Parameters of brain structure and function may, therefore, serve as outcomes of chronic diseases -reflecting the cumulative impact of chronic disease on the central nervous system but also determinants of the behaviors that give rise to the disease in the first place.

More complex perspectives may moreover consider the brain as a mediator of behavioral processes, as well as a moderator of treatment effects on such outcomes.

This Research Topic will collect research that fits into one or more of these scenarios and will provide a venue for the expansion of the scope of human neuroscience to include disease prevention research.

To date, the examination of the brain as an outcome of chronic illness is relatively common, but studies examining the brain as predictor, mediator and moderator of chronic disease outcomes are comparatively rare. Important work is emerging using brain function as a way of evaluating effective health communications, mediating the link between environment and eating behavior, and the brain as a determinant of responsivity to behavioral intervention.

Yet there remains a large volume of findings that have not previously been brought together in a coherent manner, with an eye toward the understanding of disease prevention per se.

This special Topic aims to accomplish this integrative objective, and will include studies that examine the role of the brain as mediator, moderator, predictor or outcome, wherein the disease of interest is chronic in nature, and is potentially preventable.

Subtopics can include opioid use, cannabis, eating, exercise, sleep, sexual practices or other lifestyle behaviors that confer chronic disease risk; disease-related subtopics can include any physical or psychiatric disease that is considered chronic in nature; examples include obesity, heart disease, cancer, addictions, as well as depression, schizophrenia, or anxiety disorders.

Original research articles are preferred, but systematic reviews (more preferred) and narrative reviews (less preferred) may be considered as well, specifically where they summarize research literature that has not yet been approached in review form.

Methodologically speaking, any study that includes neuroimaging and/or neuromodulation is encouraged, with a special emphasis on fNIRS, fMRI, rTMS, and tES respectively. Methods papers that focus on the use of any of these techniques in the context of disease prevention research will be considered as well.


Keywords: disease prevention, imaging, brain stimulation, fNIRS, fMRI, rTMS


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

27 January 2020 Abstract
26 May 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

27 January 2020 Abstract
26 May 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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