A neurostimulator system for real, sham, and multi-target transcranial magnetic stimulation
Memarian Sorkhabi M., Denison T.
Abstract Objective. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a clinically effective therapeutic instrument used to modulate neural activity. Despite three decades of research, two challenging issues remain, the possibility of changing the (a) stimulated spot and (b) stimulation type (real or sham) without physically moving the coil. In this study, a second-generation programmable TMS device with advanced stimulus shaping is introduced that uses a five-level cascaded H-bridge inverter and phase-shifted pulse-width modulation. The principal idea of this research is to obtain real, sham, and multi-locus stimulation using the same TMS system. Approach. We propose a two-channel modulation-based magnetic pulse generator and a novel coil arrangement, consisting of two circular coils with a physical distance of 20 mm between the coils and a control method for modifying the effective stimulus intensity, which leads to the live steerability of the target and type of stimulation. Main results. Based on the measured system performance, the stimulation profile can be steered ±20 mm along a line from the centroid of the coil locations by modifying the modulation index. Significance. The proposed system supports electronic control of the stimulation spot without physical coil movement, resulting in tunable modulation of targets, which is a crucial step towards automated TMS machines.