Noninvasive Deep Brain Stimulation via Delivery of Temporally Interfering Electric Fields

Nir Grossman, David Bono, Suhasa Kodandaramaiah, Andrii Rudenko, Antonino Cassara, Esra Neufeld, Sheeba A. Anteraper, Atsushi Takahashi, Niels Kuster, Li-Huei Tsai, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, and Edward S. Boyden at the 46th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA, USA, November 12 – 16, 2016

Noninvasive Deep Brain Stimulation via Delivery of Temporally Interfering Electric Fields

From November 12-16, 2016, the Neuroscience 2016, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, took place in San Diego, USA. At the conference, Dr. Nir Grossman, a Wellcome Trust Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/ Boston, and Imperial College/ London, presented an exciting new method with the potential of enabling focal, non-invasive electrical stimulation of regions located deep within the brain. The temporal interference (TI) stimulation method was developed jointly with IT'IS.

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure used to help control depression and neurological symptoms such as tremor or stiffness caused e.g. by Parkinson’s disease. It involves implanting electrodes within certain areas deep in the brain, and is therefore highly invasive and frequently risky, preventing large patient groups from receiving the treatment. TI stimulation, on the contrary, has the potential to deliver targeted DBS noninvasively by sending interfering, low-frequency modulated, high frequency signals from multiple pairs of electrodes placed on the scalp through the brain, avoiding stimulation of other areas – making it a promising alternative to surgical electrical stimulation interventions.

Computational electromagnetic and neural modeling at IT’IS has been crucial for elucidating mechanisms, optimizing exposures, assessing risks, and preparing and analyzing the successful experimental confirmation of the effect in animals and humans. The research will result in new Sim4Life neuron modelling features that will soon become available for various applications such as support for complex transient field exposure (also important for Magnetic Resonance Imaging pulse sequence safety assessment), targeting optimization, and functionalized brain models. The project was supported by the Wellcome Trust and the IT’IS Foundation. Joint research on the topic of temporal interference stimulation is being intensively continued.

The presentation elicited great interest, also from the media (e.g., Nature News, Neurology Central, New Scientist, IOP).

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