Resting-State fMRI Functional Connectivity Strength Predicts Local Activity Change in the Dorsal Cingulate Cortex: A Multi-Target Focused rTMS Study

SOURCE: Cerebral Cortex. 32(13):2773-2784, 2022 Jun 16.

AUTHORS: Feng ZJ; Deng XP; Zhao N; Jin J; Yue J; Hu YS; Jing Y; Wang HX; Knosche TR; Zang YF; Wang J

ABSTRACT: Previous resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) studies suggested that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can modulate local activity in distant areas via functional connectivity (FC). A brain region has more than one connection with the superficial cortical areas. The current study proposed a multi-target focused rTMS protocol for indirectly stimulating a deep region, and to investigate 1) whether FC strength between stimulation targets (right middle frontal gyrus [rMFG] and right inferior parietal lobule [rIPL]) and effective region (dorsal anterior cingulate cortex [dACC]) can predict local activity changes of dACC and 2) whether multiple stimulation targets can focus on the dACC via FC. A total of 24 healthy participants received rTMS with two stimulation targets, both showing strong FC with the dACC. There were four rTMS conditions (>1 week apart, 10 Hz, 1800 pulses for each): rMFG-target, rIPL-target, Double-targets (900 pulses for each target), and Sham. The results failed to validate the multi-target focused rTMS hypothesis. But rMFG-target significantly decreased the local activity in the dACC. In addition, stronger dACC-rMFG FC was associated with a greater local activity change in the dACC. Future studies should use stronger FC to focus stimulation effects on the deep region.