Brain network effects by continuous theta burst stimulation in mal de débarquement syndrome: simultaneous EEG and fMRI study

J Neural Eng. 2021 Nov 30;18(6):10.1088/1741-2552/ac314b. doi: 10.1088/1741-2552/ac314b.


Objective. Heterogeneous clinical responses to treatment with non-invasive brain stimulation are commonly observed, making it necessary to determine personally optimized stimulation parameters. We investigated neuroimaging markers of effective brain targets of treatment with continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) in mal de débarquement syndrome (MdDS), a balance disorder of persistent oscillating vertigo previously shown to exhibit abnormal intrinsic functional connectivity.Approach.Twenty-four right-handed, cTBS-naive individuals with MdDS received single administrations of cTBS over one of three stimulation targets in randomized order. The optimal target was determined based on the assessment of acute changes after the administration of cTBS over each target. Repetitive cTBS sessions were delivered on three consecutive days with the optimal target chosen by the participant. Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded at single-administration test sessions of cTBS. Simultaneous EEG and functional MRI data were acquired at baseline and after completion of 10-12 sessions. Network connectivity changes after single and repetitive stimulations of cTBS were analyzed.Main results.Using electrophysiological source imaging and a data-driven method, we identified network-level connectivity changes in EEG that correlated with symptom responses after completion of multiple sessions of cTBS. We further determined that connectivity changes demonstrated by EEG during test sessions of single administrations of cTBS were signatures that could predict optimal targets.Significance.Our findings demonstrate the effect of cTBS on resting state brain networks and suggest an imaging-based, closed-loop stimulation paradigm that can identify optimal targets during short-term test sessions of Identifier:NCT02470377.

Keywords: EEG; continuous theta burst stimulation; fMRI; functional connectivity; mal de débarquement syndrome; resting state networks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation* / methods
  • Travel-Related Illness

Supplementary concepts

  • Mal de debarquement

Associated data