Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and NDI Technology

TMS Challenges

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that triggers brain activity through the use of rapidly changing magnetic fields. TMS has shown promise as a non-invasive treatment for a number of disorders, including severe depression, mania, auditory hallucinations (e.g. associated with schizophrenia). TMS is accomplished by placing a handheld magnetic coil very close to the subject’s head and stimulating brain activity in only a small region around the coil. It is important that the correct area of the brain is stimulated, but with manual positioning of the magnetic coil, it is difficult to be certain that the intended area is being correctly targeted.

Product Integration

Integrating the Polaris Spectra™ or Polaris Vicra® optical measurement technology into a TMS therapy system would help to precisely measure, in real-time, the magnetic coil’s position and orientation with respect to the subject’s head. This would allow the desired therapy location to be correctly targeted. How would integrating the Polaris Spectra or Polaris Vicra achieve this? Attaching NDI markers to the handheld coil device would make it visible to the Polaris Spectra or Polaris Vicra Position Sensors, allowing the exact location and orientation of the handheld coil device to be identified. With the location and orientation of the handheld coil device known, the TMS coil can be accurately positioned by mapping its location to a tomograph (3-D image, acquired for example by MRI) of the subject’s brain.

Benefits of Integration

Key benefits of integrating either the Polaris Spectra or the Polaris Vicra optical measurement technology into a TMS therapy solution, includes:

  • Millimetric accuracy achieved
  • Easy set-up
  • Passive marker technology eliminates additional cables to TMS coil and subject’s head
  • Tracking data provided fast enough for practical real-time navigation