Modulation of Network Oscillations by Brain Stimulation Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Schmidt, Stephen
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Finding new and effective treatments for mental illness represents one of the largest challenges of our time due the large number of people affected. Despite long and careful study there have been few recent breakthroughs in pharmacological treatments of mental illness. To address this, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has recently begun to focus on the investigation of network level correlates of mental illnesses. Patients with mental illness often exhibit aberrant neural oscillatory activity, thus making the network level a promising scale for the identification of measureable neural correlates of mental illnesses. At the network level, neural activity is primarily in the form of cortical oscillations which may be recorded noninvasively with electroencephalography (EEG). Such EEG oscillations are the result of synchronized activity from many cells in the neocortex. However the exact mechanisms of how oscillations arise and spread throughout the brain remain unknown. Non-invasive brain stimulation is a promising treatment modality because it specifically targets activity of brain networks. Unlike pharmacological treatments, stimulation with electric and magnetic fields directly targets electrical activity of many cells in a network. In particular, transcranial alternating current stimulation appears to be especially suited for targeting oscillations in brain networks. Despite the promise of these brain stimulation techniques, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. The studies presented in this dissertation address two critical gaps in the treatment of mental illnesses. (1) How does rhythmic network activity arise from cellular and synaptic components? And (2) how does brain stimulation interact with ongoing network activity? Only by understanding how network activity arises and how it interacts with brain stimulation we may begin to design brain stimulation paradigms for treatment of mental illness.
Date of publication
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Gomez, Shawn
  • Shin, Hae Won
  • Taylor, Anne
  • Frohlich, Flavio
  • Peterchev, Angel
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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