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Therapeutic non-invasive brain stimulation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: rationale, methods and experience
  1. Evan C Edmond1,2,3,4,
  2. Charlotte J Stagg1,2,3,4,
  3. Martin R Turner1,2,3,4
  1. 1 Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, Oxford University, Oxford, UK
  3. 3 Oxford Centre for Human Brain Activity (OHBA), Oxford University, Oxford, UK
  4. 4 Oxford Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB), Oxford University, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Martin R Turner, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Oxford University, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK; martin.turner{at}


The neurodegenerative syndrome amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is characterised by increased cortical excitability, thought to reflect pathological changes in the balance of local excitatory and inhibitory neuronal influences. Non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) has been shown to modulate cortical activity, with some protocols showing effects that outlast the stimulation by months. NIBS has been suggested as a potential therapeutic approach for disorders associated with changes in cortical neurophysiology, including ALS. This article reviews NIBS methodology, rationale for its application to ALS and progress to date.

  • als
  • motor neuron disease
  • electrical stimulation
  • magnetic stimulation
  • neurophysiology, expt
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  • Contributors Study concept and design: ECE, CJS, MRT. Data acquisition and analysis: ECE, MRT. Drafting and critical review of the manuscript: ECE, CJS, MRT. All three authors approved the version published and are accountable for all aspects of the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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