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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Jun 2023 - 30 Jun 2023


Human Studies, Neurobiology, Neuromodulation



Front Pain Res (Lausanne)



Network targets for therapeutic brain stimulation: towards personalized therapy for pain.


Motzkin JC, Kanungo I, D'Esposito M, Shirvalkar P


Precision neuromodulation of central brain circuits is a promising emerging therapeutic modality for a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. Reliably identifying in whom, where, and in what context to provide brain stimulation for optimal pain relief are fundamental challenges limiting the widespread implementation of central neuromodulation treatments for chronic pain. Current approaches to brain stimulation target empirically derived regions of interest to the disorder or targets with strong connections to these regions. However, complex, multidimensional experiences like chronic pain are more closely linked to patterns of coordinated activity across distributed large-scale functional networks. Recent advances in precision network neuroscience indicate that these networks are highly variable in their neuroanatomical organization across individuals. Here we review accumulating evidence that variable central representations of pain will likely pose a major barrier to implementation of population-derived analgesic brain stimulation targets. We propose network-level estimates as a more valid, robust, and reliable way to stratify personalized candidate regions. Finally, we review key background, methods, and implications for developing network topology-informed brain stimulation targets for chronic pain.