Presented by Lew Lim, PhD, MBA:
Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) interventions can potentially elevate neurofeedback (NFB) outcomes. They include photobiomodulation (PBM), as well as transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) methods, especially transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and alternating current stimulation (tACS); as well as magnetic-based transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). However, up-to-date objective comparative analyses are needed for informed decisions.
SUPPORTING EVIDENCE TO DATE
Literature are largely inconclusive, pointing to the need for more investigations. TMS and to a lesser extent, tDCS have credible evidence to indicate as treatment of depression, but there is little consensus for other neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions (Lefaucher JP, et al, 2014). A reason is the lack of understanding the mechanisms of action of these modalities (Terranova et al, 2019).
In the case of PBM, the mechanisms are clearer but has relatively lighter empirical data (Giordano et al, 2017). However, emerging evidence demonstrate consistent frequency-dependent response from the brain to PBM (Zomorrodi et al, 2019). New clues are provided in the modulation of the default mode network (DMN) (Lim, 2018, Saltmarche et al, 2017, Zomorrodi et al, 2017, Heinrich et al, 2019), which points to networks for future PBM research.
The method here is combines literature review with controlled studies data. An ongoing study is investigating healthy participants treated with PBM induced at an oscillation of 10 Hz to the default mode network vs. alternatives. Another investigates a larger variety of oscillations from 0 Hz to 200 Hz, along with antiphase inductions between selected regions of the brain.
The new PBM results will be compared to earlier PBM as well as tDCS/tACS and TMS data. This would lead to further understanding of PBM compared to or combined with other NIBS interventions.
The findings from the subject investigations will be promising in advancing the understanding the various NIBS to potentially elevate NFB practice outcomes.