Towards precise brain stimulation: Is electric field simulation related to neuromodulation?

Daria Antonenko*, Axel Thielscher, Guilherme Bicalho Saturnino, Semiha Aydin, Bernd Ittermann, Ulrike Grittner, Agnes Flöel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Recent research on neural and behavioral consequences of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has highlighted the impact of individual factors, such as brain anatomy which determines current field distribution and may thus significantly impact stimulation effects. Computational modeling approaches may significantly advance our understanding of such factors, but the association of simulation-based tDCS-induced fields and neurophysiological outcomes has not been investigated. Objectives: To provide empirical evidence for the relationship between tDCS-induced neurophysiological outcomes and individually induced electric fields. Methods: We applied tDCS during eyes-closed resting-state functional resonance imaging (rsfMRI) and assessed pre-post magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in 24 participants. We aimed to quantify effects of 15-min tDCS using the “classical” left SM1-right supraorbital area montage on sensorimotor network (SMN) strength and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate concentrations, implementing a cross-over counterbalanced design with three stimulation conditions. Additional structural anatomical MRI sequences and recordings of individual electrode configurations allowed individual electric field simulations based on realistic head models of all participants for both conditions. Results: On a neurophysiological level, we observed the expected reduction of GABA concentrations and increase in SMN strength, both during anodal and cathodal compared to sham tDCS, replicating previous results. The magnitudes of neurophysiological modulations induced by tDCS were significantly associated with simulation-based electric field strengths within the targeted left precentral gyrus. Conclusion: Our findings corroborate previous reports on tDCS-induced neurophysiological modulations and further advance the understanding of underlying mechanisms by providing first empirical evidence for the association of the injected electric field and neuromodulatory effects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Stimulation
Volume12
Pages (from-to)1159-1168
ISSN1935-861X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Brain networks
  • Computational modeling
  • GABA
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Transcranial direct current stimulation

Cite this

Antonenko, Daria ; Thielscher, Axel ; Saturnino, Guilherme Bicalho ; Aydin, Semiha ; Ittermann, Bernd ; Grittner, Ulrike ; Flöel, Agnes. / Towards precise brain stimulation : Is electric field simulation related to neuromodulation?. In: Brain Stimulation. 2019 ; Vol. 12. pp. 1159-1168.
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title = "Towards precise brain stimulation: Is electric field simulation related to neuromodulation?",
abstract = "Background: Recent research on neural and behavioral consequences of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has highlighted the impact of individual factors, such as brain anatomy which determines current field distribution and may thus significantly impact stimulation effects. Computational modeling approaches may significantly advance our understanding of such factors, but the association of simulation-based tDCS-induced fields and neurophysiological outcomes has not been investigated. Objectives: To provide empirical evidence for the relationship between tDCS-induced neurophysiological outcomes and individually induced electric fields. Methods: We applied tDCS during eyes-closed resting-state functional resonance imaging (rsfMRI) and assessed pre-post magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in 24 participants. We aimed to quantify effects of 15-min tDCS using the “classical” left SM1-right supraorbital area montage on sensorimotor network (SMN) strength and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate concentrations, implementing a cross-over counterbalanced design with three stimulation conditions. Additional structural anatomical MRI sequences and recordings of individual electrode configurations allowed individual electric field simulations based on realistic head models of all participants for both conditions. Results: On a neurophysiological level, we observed the expected reduction of GABA concentrations and increase in SMN strength, both during anodal and cathodal compared to sham tDCS, replicating previous results. The magnitudes of neurophysiological modulations induced by tDCS were significantly associated with simulation-based electric field strengths within the targeted left precentral gyrus. Conclusion: Our findings corroborate previous reports on tDCS-induced neurophysiological modulations and further advance the understanding of underlying mechanisms by providing first empirical evidence for the association of the injected electric field and neuromodulatory effects.",
keywords = "Brain networks, Computational modeling, GABA, Magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, Transcranial direct current stimulation",
author = "Daria Antonenko and Axel Thielscher and Saturnino, {Guilherme Bicalho} and Semiha Aydin and Bernd Ittermann and Ulrike Grittner and Agnes Fl{\"o}el",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
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doi = "10.1016/j.brs.2019.03.072",
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pages = "1159--1168",
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Towards precise brain stimulation : Is electric field simulation related to neuromodulation? / Antonenko, Daria; Thielscher, Axel; Saturnino, Guilherme Bicalho; Aydin, Semiha; Ittermann, Bernd; Grittner, Ulrike; Flöel, Agnes.

In: Brain Stimulation, Vol. 12, 01.01.2019, p. 1159-1168.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Towards precise brain stimulation

T2 - Is electric field simulation related to neuromodulation?

AU - Antonenko, Daria

AU - Thielscher, Axel

AU - Saturnino, Guilherme Bicalho

AU - Aydin, Semiha

AU - Ittermann, Bernd

AU - Grittner, Ulrike

AU - Flöel, Agnes

PY - 2019/1/1

Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Background: Recent research on neural and behavioral consequences of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has highlighted the impact of individual factors, such as brain anatomy which determines current field distribution and may thus significantly impact stimulation effects. Computational modeling approaches may significantly advance our understanding of such factors, but the association of simulation-based tDCS-induced fields and neurophysiological outcomes has not been investigated. Objectives: To provide empirical evidence for the relationship between tDCS-induced neurophysiological outcomes and individually induced electric fields. Methods: We applied tDCS during eyes-closed resting-state functional resonance imaging (rsfMRI) and assessed pre-post magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in 24 participants. We aimed to quantify effects of 15-min tDCS using the “classical” left SM1-right supraorbital area montage on sensorimotor network (SMN) strength and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate concentrations, implementing a cross-over counterbalanced design with three stimulation conditions. Additional structural anatomical MRI sequences and recordings of individual electrode configurations allowed individual electric field simulations based on realistic head models of all participants for both conditions. Results: On a neurophysiological level, we observed the expected reduction of GABA concentrations and increase in SMN strength, both during anodal and cathodal compared to sham tDCS, replicating previous results. The magnitudes of neurophysiological modulations induced by tDCS were significantly associated with simulation-based electric field strengths within the targeted left precentral gyrus. Conclusion: Our findings corroborate previous reports on tDCS-induced neurophysiological modulations and further advance the understanding of underlying mechanisms by providing first empirical evidence for the association of the injected electric field and neuromodulatory effects.

AB - Background: Recent research on neural and behavioral consequences of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has highlighted the impact of individual factors, such as brain anatomy which determines current field distribution and may thus significantly impact stimulation effects. Computational modeling approaches may significantly advance our understanding of such factors, but the association of simulation-based tDCS-induced fields and neurophysiological outcomes has not been investigated. Objectives: To provide empirical evidence for the relationship between tDCS-induced neurophysiological outcomes and individually induced electric fields. Methods: We applied tDCS during eyes-closed resting-state functional resonance imaging (rsfMRI) and assessed pre-post magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) in 24 participants. We aimed to quantify effects of 15-min tDCS using the “classical” left SM1-right supraorbital area montage on sensorimotor network (SMN) strength and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate concentrations, implementing a cross-over counterbalanced design with three stimulation conditions. Additional structural anatomical MRI sequences and recordings of individual electrode configurations allowed individual electric field simulations based on realistic head models of all participants for both conditions. Results: On a neurophysiological level, we observed the expected reduction of GABA concentrations and increase in SMN strength, both during anodal and cathodal compared to sham tDCS, replicating previous results. The magnitudes of neurophysiological modulations induced by tDCS were significantly associated with simulation-based electric field strengths within the targeted left precentral gyrus. Conclusion: Our findings corroborate previous reports on tDCS-induced neurophysiological modulations and further advance the understanding of underlying mechanisms by providing first empirical evidence for the association of the injected electric field and neuromodulatory effects.

KW - Brain networks

KW - Computational modeling

KW - GABA

KW - Magnetic resonance spectroscopy

KW - Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging

KW - Transcranial direct current stimulation

U2 - 10.1016/j.brs.2019.03.072

DO - 10.1016/j.brs.2019.03.072

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 30930209

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VL - 12

SP - 1159

EP - 1168

JO - Brain Stimulation

JF - Brain Stimulation

SN - 1935-861X

ER -