Multiscale modeling in the clinic: diseases of the brain and nervous system.


Computational neuroscience is a field that traces its origins to the efforts of Hodgkin and Huxley, who pioneered quantitative analysis of electrical activity in the nervous system. While also continuing as an independent field, computational neuroscience has combined with computational systems biology, and neural multiscale modeling arose as one offshoot. This consolidation has added electrical, graphical, dynamical system, learning theory, artificial intelligence and neural network viewpoints with the microscale of cellular biology (neuronal and glial), mesoscales of vascular, immunological and neuronal networks, on up to macroscales of cognition and behavior. The complexity of linkages that produces pathophysiology in neurological, neurosurgical and psychiatric disease will require multiscale modeling to provide understanding that exceeds what is possible with statistical analysis or highly simplified models: how to bring together pharmacotherapeutics with neurostimulation, how to personalize therapies, how to combine novel therapies with neurorehabilitation, how to interlace periodic diagnostic updates with frequent reevaluation of therapy, how to understand a physical disease that manifests as a disease of the mind. Multiscale modeling will also help to extend the usefulness of animal models of human diseases in neuroscience, where the disconnects between clinical and animal phenomenology are particularly pronounced. Here we cover areas of particular interest for clinical application of these new modeling neurotechnologies, including epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, ischemic disease, neurorehabilitation, drug addiction, schizophrenia and neurostimulation.

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