Author: Charlotte Keatch1, Elisabeth Lambert2, Will Woods3, Tatiana Kameneva1
1 School of Science, Computing and Engineering Technologies, Swinburne University of Technology, John Street, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122, AUSTRALIA.
2 Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute, Swinburne University of Technology, John Street, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122, AUSTRALIA.
3 School of Health Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, John Street, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122, AUSTRALIA.
Conference/Journal: J Neural Eng
Date published: 2022 Mar 29
Other: Special Notes: doi: 10.1088/1741-2552/ac620c. , Word Count: 275
Transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS) is form of non-invasive brain stimulation that delivers a sequence of electrical pulses to the auricular branch of the vagus nerve, and is used increasingly in the treatment of a number of health conditions such as epilepsy and depression. Recent research has focused on the efficacy of tVNS to treat different medical conditions, but there is little conclusive evidence concerning the optimal stimulation parameters.There are relatively few studies that have combined tVNS with a neuroimaging modality, and none that have attempted simultaneous magnetoencephalography (MEG) and tVNS due to the presence of large stimulation artifacts produced by the electrical stimulation which are many orders of magnitude larger than underlying brain activity.
The aim of this study is to investigate the utility of MEG to gain insight into the regions of the brain most strongly influenced by tVNS and how variation of the stimulation parameters can affect this response in healthy participants.
We have successfully demonstrated that MEG can be used to measure brain response to tVNS. We have also shown that varying the stimulation frequency can lead to a difference in brain response, with the brain also responding in different anatomical regions depending on the frequency.
The main contribution of this paper is to demonstrate the feasibility of simultaneous pulsed tVNS and MEG recording, allowing direct investigation of the changes in brain activity that result from different stimulation parameters. This may lead to the development of customised therapeutic approaches for the targeted treatment of different conditions.
Keywords: brain imaging; depression; magnetoencephalography; neuromodulation; non-invasive stimulation; simultaneous stimulation; transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation.
PMID: 35349989 DOI: 10.1088/1741-2552/ac620c