About this Research Topic
Activity-dependent modulation of synaptic plasticity, a process known as metaplasticity, is an important determinant in the cellular mechanisms underlying learning, memory and other physiological brain functions. Metaplasticity, a higher order of synaptic plasticity acting on the threshold for modification of synaptic strength, results in a change in the capabilities of the synapse to undergo subsequent plasticity.
However, the understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying distinct forms of synaptic plasticity including metaplasticity remains limited. A wide range of neurological diseases may be accompanied by severe alterations in synaptic plasticity, i.e., 'maladaptive synaptic plasticity', which could promote and determine the remodeling of neuronal networks under pathological conditions. Moreover, an altered plasticity may contribute directly to the pathogenesis of the neurological disorders.
It is possible to modulate metaplasticity mechanisms either pharmacologically or by using the most modern techniques of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS). The development of different methods of brain stimulation provides a promising therapeutic tool on several neurological disorders.
However, little is known about metaplasticity in health and in pathological conditions. There is a great potential to develop metaplasticity-based treatments to improve clinical outcome by restoring or allowing desired synaptic plasticity. Among these methods, the repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and direct current stimulation (DCS) techniques are the most common and they have been used in research as well as in clinical settings.
This Research Topic aims to collect both original research and review articles addressing recent evidences on the clinical application of metaplasticity-mediated treatment in acquired neurological disorders.
Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:
• Aberrant metaplasticity in neurological disorders
• Non-invasive neuromodulation and combined neurorehabilitation therapies in acute and chronic stroke
• Interventions on metaplasticity in basal ganglia disorders and other neurodegenerative diseases (MCI and Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disease, dystonia)
• Treating metaplasticity dysfunction in multiple sclerosis
• Metaplasticity outside motor areas (visual system, tinnitus, spinal cord injury)
• Role of metaplasticity in behavior and psychiatric disorders
• Interleaving non-invasive brain stimulation with neuroimaging to study metaplasticity.
Keywords: Transcranial magnetic stimulation, direct current stimulation, neural plasticity, neuromodulation, neurorehabilitation
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.