Temporal Analysis of Magnetic Nerve Stimulation–Towards Enhanced Systems via Virtualisation
The triumph of inductive neuro-stimulation since its rediscovery in the 1980s has been quite spectacular. In lots of branches ranging from clinical applications to basic research this system is absolutely indispensable. Nevertheless, the basic knowledge about the processes underlying the stimulation effect is still very rough and rarely refined in a quantitative way. This seems to be not only an inexcusable blank spot in biophysics and for stimulation prediction, but also a fundamental hindrance for technological progress. The already very sophisticated devices have reached a stage where further optimization requires better strategies than provided by simple linear membrane models of integrate-and-fire style. Addressing this problem for the first time, we suggest in the following text a way for virtual quantitative analysis of a stimulation system. Concomitantly, this ansatz seems to provide a route towards a better understanding by using nonlinear signal processing and taking the nerve as a filter that is adapted for neuronal magnetic stimulation. The model is compact and easy to adjust. The whole setup behaved very robustly during all performed tests. Exemplarily a recent innovative stimulator design known as cTMS is analyzed and dimensioned with this approach in the following. The results show hitherto unforeseen potentials.
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