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Development of a magnetic stimulator for treatment of neurological diseases

Actuation and Control

Magnetic Stimulation, Medical Equipment, Neurological Disease, Electromagnetic Field Analysis

Some cases of neurological diseases are not curable by drug treatments. A conventional method of treatment for such diseases is to give repetitive electrical stimulations to the brain from an implanted electrode. Patients have not necessarily preferred the high cost of surgery as well as the implantation of the electrode itself. Recent studies have shown that magnetic stimulations produce an equivalent therapeutic effect. In this treatment, pulsed magnetic fields generated from an external coil induce eddy currents in the brain. While this new treatment has an advantage of requiring no implanted device, the therapeutic effect lasts only one day. Thus the patients have to go frequently to large hospitals equipped with a magnetic stimulator. The purpose of this study is to develop a compact transcranial magnetic stimulator which patients can use at home to continuously treat their diseases. Our magnetic stimulator has a newly designed coil so that a low-power stimulator system generates eddy currents in the brain with a sufficient intensity. The performance of the coil is evaluated using numerical simulations and experiments. We collaborate closely with Osaka University, Shinshu University, Kansai University, and Teijin Pharma Ltd. with regard to practical realization of the magnetic stimulator.

Generation of eddy currents in the brain using a figure-eight coil (left) and eddy current distribution in the brain obtained from numerical simulations (right)

Generation of eddy currents in the brain using a figure-eight coil (left) and eddy current distribution in the brain obtained from numerical simulations (right)

Contact Masaki Sekino(Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Systems, Graduate School of Engineering)
E-mail
URL http://neuromod.casi.osaka-u.ac.jp/
References 1. Sekino, M., Hirata, M., Sakihara, K., Yorifuji, S., Ueno, S.: Intensity and Localization of Eddy Currents in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation to the Cerebellum, IEEE Transactions on Magnetics, Vol.42, No.10, pp.3575-3577, 2006.
2. Fukushima, T., Nishikawa, A., Miyazaki, F., Uchida, K., Sekino, M., Saitoh, Y.: Magnetic Guided Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Newly Convenient Navigation System, International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, 5(supplement 1):S36-S37, 2010.
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