Brain Sci. 2023 Sep 30;13(10):1402. doi: 10.3390/brainsci13101402.
Neurostimulation carries high therapeutic potential, accompanied by an excellent safety profile. In this review, we argue that an arena in which these tools could provide breakthrough benefits is traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI is a major health problem worldwide, with the majority of cases identified as mild TBI (mTBI). MTBI is of concern because it is a modifiable risk factor for dementia. A major challenge in studying mTBI is its inherent heterogeneity across a large feature space (e.g., etiology, age of injury, sex, treatment, initial health status, etc.). Parallel lines of research in human and rodent mTBI can be collated to take advantage of the full suite of neuroscience tools, from neuroimaging (electroencephalography: EEG; functional magnetic resonance imaging: fMRI; diffusion tensor imaging: DTI) to biochemical assays. Despite these attractive components and the need for effective treatments, there are at least two major challenges to implementation. First, there is insufficient understanding of how neurostimulation alters neural mechanisms. Second, there is insufficient understanding of how mTBI alters neural function. The goal of this review is to assemble interrelated but disparate areas of research to identify important gaps in knowledge impeding the implementation of neurostimulation.