Feasibility of combining functional near-infrared spectroscopy with electroencephalography to identify chronic stroke responders to cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation—a computational modeling and portable neuroimaging methodological study


Feasibility of portable neuroimaging of cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (ctDCS) effects on the cerebral cortex has not been investigated vis-à-vis cerebellar lobular electric field strength. We studied functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in conjunction with electroencephalography (EEG) to measure changes in the brain activation at the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the sensorimotor cortex (SMC) following ctDCS as well as virtual reality–based balance training (VBaT) before and after ctDCS treatment in 12 hemiparetic chronic stroke survivors. We performed general linear modeling (GLM) that putatively associated the lobular electric field strength with the changes in the fNIRS-EEG measures at the ipsilesional and contra-lesional PFC and SMC. Here, fNIRS-EEG measures were found in the latent space from canonical correlation analysis (CCA) between the changes in total hemoglobin (tHb) concentrations (0.01–0.07Hz and 0.07–0.13Hz bands) and log10-transformed EEG bandpower within 1–45 Hz where significant (Wilks' lambda>0.95) canonical correlations were found only for the 0.07–0.13-Hz band. Also, the first principal component (97.5% variance accounted for) of the mean lobular electric field strength was a good predictor of the latent variables of oxy-hemoglobin (O2Hb) concentrations and log10-transformed EEG bandpower. GLM also provided insights into non-responders to ctDCS who also performed poorly in the VBaT due to ideomotor apraxia. Future studies should investigate fNIRS-EEG joint-imaging in a larger cohort to identify non-responders based on GLM fitting to the fNIRS-EEG data.