About this Research Topic
Neural plasticity, defined as the ability of neurons to change and reorganize their functions, chemical profiles, or structures, has been extensively studied to understand the mechanisms behind the improvement of motor, sensory, and cognitive functionalities of nervous system at different levels, as well as to gain insights into neuro-rehabilitation in neurological disorders. Since the 1990s, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) has gained popularity among neuroscience researchers to study brain structures and functions with high spatial and temporal resolution, including short- and long-term neural plasticity by recording changes in functional and structural patterns over time, mediation between different neural networks, and the response of nervous system to various rehabilitation therapies and treatments.
Non-invasive techniques and physiotherapy have long been used in nervous system rehabilitation, ranging from traditional methods such as acupuncture and physiotherapy to modern methods such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS), etc.
In order to better understand the mechanisms behind neural plasticity and how it is affected by a broad collection of physical treatments, we propose this Research Topic to collect the latest developments in clinical trials and translational research using fMRI with emphasis on the following areas:
- Neural plasticity mechanisms and neural pathways and their reflection on fMRI data.
- How neural networks of the brain respond to various physical treatments, especially changes in patterns and functionalities at local and global levels in longitudinal studies, in neurological diseases such as stroke, hemiplegia, pain, migraine, etc.
- Physiological and pathophysiological responses of the brain and nervous systems to manipulation of physical therapies, including placebo effects of these treatments in the control group.
- Experimental design incorporating fMRI to validate neural plasticity from a methodological perspective, especially in clinical trials.
Original Research, Review Articles, Methods, Hypothesis and Theory, Clinical Trial, Case Report, Brief Research Report are welcomed and both human and animal studies with translational potential are encouraged for submission.
Keywords: neural plasticity, non-invasive physical therapy, fMRI, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, neural pathway, neural network
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