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Nature Scientific Reports

In-vivo Imaging of Magnetic Fields Induced by Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) in Human Brain using MRI

Mayank V. Jog, Robert X. Smith, Kay Jann, Walter Dunn, Belen Lafon, Dennis Truong, Allan Wu, Lucas Parra, Marom Bikson & Danny J. J. Wang

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is an emerging non-invasive neuromodulation technique that applies mA currents at the scalp to modulate cortical excitability. Here, we present a novel magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique, which detects magnetic elds induced by tDCS currents. This technique is based on Ampere’s law and exploits the linear relationship between direct current and induced magnetic elds. Following validation on a phantom with a known path of electric current and induced magnetic eld, the proposed MRI technique was applied to a human limb (to demonstrate in- vivo feasibility using simple biological tissue) and human heads (to demonstrate feasibility in standard tDCS applications). The results show that the proposed technique detects tDCS induced magnetic elds as small as a nanotesla at millimeter spatial resolution. Through measurements of magnetic elds linearly proportional to the applied tDCS current, our approach opens a new avenue for direct in-vivo visualization of tDCS target engagement.

Full PDF: srep34385