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Deep Brain Stimulation from Cells to Circuits: Recent Advances in Neural Engineering and Neuroimaging

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In the past two decades, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as a remarkable treatment for a variety of debilitating neurological and psychiatric disorders. This includes Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia, and is rapidly expanding to applications in epilepsy, neuropathic pain and major ...

In the past two decades, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has emerged as a remarkable treatment for a variety of debilitating neurological and psychiatric disorders. This includes Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia, and is rapidly expanding to applications in epilepsy, neuropathic pain and major depression. Despite clinical efficacy of DBS its mechanisms of action are unclear and its outcomes remain heterogeneous. As biophysical underpinning of DBS remains unknown, uncertainties arise about which circuits are affected, what neural populations to target, and the most efficacious therapeutic protocol. There is a consensus that a paradigm shift toward the use of neuroimaging, both for target verification and for postoperative monitoring of functional network changes is necessary to interpret the outcomes and design enhanced therapeutic protocols. In parallel, biophysical models that quantify the response of neurons to the external electrical stimulation help determining the extent of activation, a crucial step to interpret the outcomes and optimize the stimulation protocols.

This collection of articles focuses on recent advances in the development and application of neuroimaging and computational techniques to advance deep brain stimulation. This includes (but not limited to) application of novel structural imaging methods for DBS target verification, application of functional neuroimaging (e.g., PET, fMRI) to study neuromodulatory effects of DBS, design and analysis of novel electrodes, and developing computational models to quantify volume of activated tissue. We invite clinicians, neuroscientists, and theoreticians who apply neuroimaging and computational neuroscience to contribute to this Research Topic. We especially welcome work involving collaborations between scientists and clinicians.


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