Expanding the Limits of Non-Invasive Therapeutic Neurostimulation by Strategic Manipulation of Cell Excitability

July 04, 2024 - 16 h 00

Hôtel Dupanloup
1 rue Dupanloup
45000 Orléans


Poor treatment response has been a perennial problem in the management of psycho-affective disorders. With clinical depression alone - the most common of these disorders - more than half of the patients do not adequately respond to any form of antidepressant therapy. This is quite alarming as many of these conditions can lead to premature mortality through suicide. Even last-resort modalities, such as brain-directed electrical stimulation, given to refractory patients, do not yield optimal treatment outcomes. Newer methods of therapeutic neuromodulation are encumbered by practical limitations. Deep brain stimulation necessitates surgery and its therapeutic efficacy appears contingent upon the cytoarchitecture of target brain regions. Moreover, none of these brain stimulation strategies is able to effectively direct current/impulses into specific cell compartments, often resulting in indiscriminate activation of cells. In this talk, I will present a proposed novel approach that potentially addresses the limitations of these other techniques. The proposed strategy involves augmentations of the excitability of specific cell subgroups by drug-induced activation/inhibition of depolarization-limiting membrane proteins, such as the small-conductance, calcium-activated potassium channels. In combination with transcranial current stimulation, this approach offers a significant refinement of a simple, inexpensive and innovative technique that could have far-reaching clinical applications and benefit diverse patient groups.  


Prof. Francis Bambico

LE STUDIUM Visiting Researcher 

FROM: Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto - CA
IN RESIDENCE AT: Imaging and Brain laboratory (iBrain) / INSERM, University of Tours - FR

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