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Brain activity modification produced by a single radioelectric asymmetric brain stimulation pulse: a new tool for neuropsychiatric treatments. Preliminary fMRI study

Authors Rinaldi S, Fontani V, Castagna A

Published 28 October 2011 Volume 2011:7(1) Pages 649—654


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Salvatore Rinaldi1,2, Vania Fontani1, Alessandro Castagna1
1Department of Neuro-Psycho-Physio Pathology, Rinaldi Fontani Institute, Florence, Italy; 2Medical School of Occupational Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy

Purpose: Radioelectric asymmetric brain stimulation technology with its treatment protocols has shown efficacy in various psychiatric disorders. The aim of this work was to highlight the mechanisms by which these positive effects are achieved. The current study was conducted to determine whether a single 500-millisecond radioelectric asymmetric conveyor (REAC) brain stimulation pulse (BSP), applied to the ear, can effect a modification of brain activity that is detectable using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Methods: Ten healthy volunteers, six females and four males, underwent fMRI during a simple finger-tapping motor task before and after receiving a single 500-millisecond REAC-BSP.
Results: The fMRI results indicate that the average variation in task-induced encephalic activation patterns is lower in subjects following the single REAC pulse.
Conclusion: The current report demonstrates that a single REAC-BSP is sufficient to modulate brain activity in awake subjects, able to be measured using fMRI. These initial results open new perspectives into the understanding of the effects of weak and brief radio pulses upon brain activity, and provide the basis for further indepth studies using REAC-BSP and fMRI.

Keywords: fMRI, brain stimulation, brain modulation, REAC, neuropsychiatric treatments

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