Near-infrared spectroscopy - electroencephalography-based brain-state-dependent electrotherapy: A computational approach based on excitation-inhibition balance hypothesis


Stroke is the leading cause of severe chronic disability and the second cause of death worldwide with 15 million new cases and 50 million stroke survivors. The poststroke chronic disability may be ameliorated with early neuro rehabilitation where non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques can be used as an adjuvant treatment to hasten the effects. However, the heterogeneity in the lesioned brain will require individualized NIBS intervention where innovative neuroimaging technologies of portable electroencephalography (EEG) and functional-near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) can be leveraged for Brain State Dependent Electrotherapy (BSDE). In this hypothesis and theory article, we propose a computational approach based on excitation-inhibition (E-I) balance hypothesis to objectively quantify the poststroke individual brain state using online fNIRS-EEG joint imaging. One of the key events that occurs following Stroke is the imbalance in local E-I (that is the ratio of Glutamate/GABA), which may be targeted with NIBS using a computational pipeline that includes individual “forward models” to predict current flow patterns through the lesioned brain or brain target region. The current flow will polarize the neurons, which can be captured with E-I-based brain models. Furthermore, E-I balance hypothesis can be used to find the consequences of cellular polarization on neuronal information processing, which can then be implicated in changes in function. We first review the evidence that shows how this local imbalance between E-I leading to functional dysfunction can be restored in targeted sites with NIBS (motor cortex and somatosensory cortex) resulting in large-scale plastic reorganization over the cortex, and probably facilitating recovery of functions. Second, we show evidence how BSDE based on E-I balance hypothesis may target a specific brain site or network as an adjuvant treatment. Hence, computational neural mass model-based integration of neurostimulation with online neuroimaging systems may provide less ambiguous, robust optimization of NIBS, and its application in neurological conditions and disorders across individual patients.

Frontiers in Neurology