Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation–Induced Neuroplasticity and the Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders: State of the Evidence and Future Opportunities

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Abstract

Neuroplasticity, or activity-dependent neuronal change, is a crucial mechanism underlying the mechanisms of effect of many therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders, one of which is repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Understanding the neuroplastic effects of rTMS at different biological scales and on different timescales and how the effects at different scales interact with each other can help us understand the effects of rTMS in clinical populations and offers the potential to improve treatment outcomes. Several decades of research in the fields of neuroimaging and blood biomarkers is increasingly showing its clinical relevance, allowing measurement of the synaptic, functional, and structural changes involved in neuroplasticity in humans. In this narrative review, we describe the evidence for rTMS-induced neuroplasticity at multiple levels of the nervous system, with a focus on the treatment of psychiatric disorders. We also describe the relationship between neuroplasticity and clinical effects, discuss methods to optimize neuroplasticity, and identify future research opportunities in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-600
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Volume95
Issue number6
Early online date2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • BDNF
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Psychiatry
  • rTMS

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