Targeting the Cerebellum by Noninvasive Neurostimulation: a Review

Abstract

Transcranial magnetic and electric stimulation of the brain are novel and highly promising techniques currently employed in both research and clinical practice. Improving or rehabilitating brain functions by modulating excitability with these noninvasive tools is an exciting new area in neuroscience. Since the cerebellum is closely connected with the cerebral regions subserving motor, associative, and affective functions, the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathways are an interesting target for these new techniques. Targeting the cerebellum represents a novel way to modulate the excitability of remote cortical regions and their functions. This review brings together the studies that have applied cerebellar stimulation, magnetic and electric, and presents an overview of the current knowledge and unsolved issues. Some recommendations for future research are implemented as well.

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Acknowledgments

Kim van Dun is a doctoral researcher involved in project G035714N granted by the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO). This research was also funded by a Strategic Research Program (SPR15) awarded by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.

Author’s Contributions

KvD searched the databases for relevant articles. The manuscript was drafted by KvD together with PM. MM and FB carefully read the manuscript and shared their expertise.

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Correspondence to Peter Mariën.

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van Dun, K., Bodranghien, F., Manto, M. et al. Targeting the Cerebellum by Noninvasive Neurostimulation: a Review. Cerebellum 16, 695–741 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12311-016-0840-7

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Keywords

  • Cerebellum
  • TMS
  • tDCS
  • Functional connectivity
  • Motor
  • Cognitive
  • Affective
  • Clinical