Computational modeling of epidural cortical stimulation.
Epidural cortical stimulation (ECS) is a developing therapy to treat neurological disorders. However, it is not clear how the cortical anatomy or the polarity and position of the electrode affects current flow and neural activation in the cortex. We developed a 3D computational model simulating ECS over the precentral gyrus. With the electrode placed directly above the gyrus, about half of the stimulus current flowed through the crown of the gyrus while current density was low along the banks deep in the sulci. Beneath the electrode, neurons oriented perpendicular to the cortical surface were depolarized by anodic stimulation, and neurons oriented parallel to the boundary were depolarized by cathodic stimulation. Activation was localized to the crown of the gyrus, and neurons on the banks deep in the sulci were not polarized. During regulated voltage stimulation, the magnitude of the activating function was inversely proportional to the thickness of the CSF and dura. During regulated current stimulation, the activating function was not sensitive to the thickness of the dura but was slightly more sensitive than during regulated voltage stimulation to the thickness of the CSF. Varying the width of the gyrus and the position of the electrode altered the distribution of the activating function due to changes in the orientation of the neurons beneath the electrode. Bipolar stimulation, although often used in clinical practice, reduced spatial selectivity as well as selectivity for neuron orientation.
Wongsarnpigoon, A; Grill, WM
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