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#neurocognitive disorders

The Role of Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Neurorehabilitation

Andreas Winkler

Institut Neuromed, Korneuburg, Austria

The field of neuromodulation encompasses a wide spectrum of distinct and innovative technologies that modify neuronal and neuronal-network activity within the brain and nervous system.

The primary goal is set to achieve a measurable therapeutic and clinical effect with the least possible side effects and within a reasonable range of costs. Available therapies including deep brain stimulation (DBS), vagal nerve stimulation (VNS), intracranial cortical stimulation (ICS), transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) have all shown promising results across a range of neurological and neuropsychological disorders.

In general, NIBS techniques use electrical and, or magnetic energy to induce changes in excitability of the underlying brain cortex in a non-invasive fashion and potentially induce long-lasting neuroplastic changes in the sense of long-term potentiation or long-term depression.

Especially rTMS and tDCS have been increasingly used in neurorehabilitation in recent years. TMS can be either used as diagnostic tool to learn about brain function and to reveal mechanisms of brain function, or rTMS and tDCS can alternatively be used as therapeutic tools to modulate brain function and to improve behavior (language, sensation, cognition, motor function etc.).

In my talk I will give a comprehensive overview of technical prerequisites, different protocols of NIBS and it´s clinical usefulness in rehabilitation-therapy.