Abnormal cortical asymmetry as a target for neuromodulation in neuropsychiatric disorders: A narrative review and concept proposal

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Recent advances in knowledge relating to the organization of neural circuitry in the human brain have increased understanding of disorders involving brain circuit asymmetry. These asymmetries, which can be measured and identified utilizing EEG and LORETA analysis techniques, may be a factor in mental disorders.

New treatments involving non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS), including trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, direct current stimulation and vagal nerve stimulation, have emerged in recent years. We propose that EEG identification of circuit asymmetry geometries can direct non-invasive brain stimulation more specifically for treatments of mental disorders. We describe as a narrative review new NIBS therapies that have been developed and delivered, and suggest that they are proving effective in certain patient groups. A brief narrative of influence of classical and operant conditioning of neurofeedback on EEG coherence, phase, abnormalities and Loreta’s significance is provided. We also discuss the role of Heart rate variability and biofeedback in influencing EEG co-relates. Clinical evidence is at an early stage, but the basic science evidence and early case studies suggest that this may be a promising new modality for treating mental disorders and merits further research.

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