Opportunities of Connectomic Neuromodulation [Review]

SOURCE: Neuroimage. 221:117180, 2020 11 01.

AUTHOR: Horn A; Fox MD

The process of altering neural activity – neuromodulation – has long been used to treat patients with brain disorders and answer scientific questions. Deep brain stimulation in particular has provided clinical benefit to over 150,000 patients. However, our understanding of how neuromodulation impacts the brain is evolving. Instead of focusing on the local impact at the stimulation site itself, we are considering the remote impact on brain regions connected to the stimulation site. Brain connectivity information derived from advanced magnetic resonance imaging data can be used to identify these connections and better understand clinical and behavioral effects of neuromodulation. In this article, we review studies combining neuromodulation and brain connectomics, highlighting opportunities where this approach may prove particularly valuable. We focus on deep brain stimulation, but show that the same principles can be applied to other forms of neuromodulation, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and MRI-guided focused ultrasound. We outline future perspectives and provide testable hypotheses for future work.