Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Dementia: A Complex Network Story

Lorenzo Pini, Rosa Manenti, Maria Cotelli, Francesca B Pizzini, Giovanni B Frisoni, Michela Pievani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) is emerging as a promising rehabilitation tool for a number of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the therapeutic mechanisms of NIBS are not completely understood. In this review, we will summarize NIBS results in the context of brain imaging studies of functional connectivity and metabolites to gain insight into the possible mechanisms underlying recovery. We will briefly discuss how the clinical manifestations of common neurodegenerative disorders may be related with aberrant connectivity within large-scale neural networks. We will then focus on recent studies combining resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging with NIBS to delineate how stimulation of different brain regions induce complex network modifications, both at the local and distal level. Moreover, we will review studies combining magnetic resonance spectroscopy and NIBS to investigate how microscale changes are related to modifications of large-scale networks. Finally, we will re-examine previous NIBS studies in dementia in light of this network perspective. A better understanding of NIBS impact on the functionality of large-scale brain networks may be useful to design beneficial treatments for neurodegenerative disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-301
Number of pages21
JournalNeurodegenerative Diseases
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • *Dementia
  • *Functional connectivity
  • *Non-invasive stimulation
  • *Resting state networks
  • Brain/*physiopathology/surgery
  • Dementia/*physiopathology/therapy
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases/physiopathology/*therapy
  • Neuronal Plasticity/*physiology
  • Treatment Outcome


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Dementia: A Complex Network Story'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this