Matching Items (9)

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The effects of square breathing as a vagal nerve stimulant on learning new motor strategies in unreliable proprioceptive conditions

Description

Lack of proprioceptive feedback is one cause for the high upper-limb prosthesis abandonment rate. The lack of environmental interaction normalcy from unreliable proprioception creates dissatisfaction among prosthesis users. The purpose

Lack of proprioceptive feedback is one cause for the high upper-limb prosthesis abandonment rate. The lack of environmental interaction normalcy from unreliable proprioception creates dissatisfaction among prosthesis users. The purpose of this experiment is to investigate the effects of square breathing on learning to navigate without reliable proprioception. Square breathing is thought to influence the vagus nerve which is linked to increased learning rates. In this experiment, participants were instructed to reach toward targets in a semi-immersive virtual reality environment. Directional error, peak velocity, and peak acceleration of the reaching hand were investigated before and after participants underwent square breathing training. As the results of<br/>this experiment are inconclusive, further investigation needs to be done with larger sample sizes and examining unperturbed data to fully understand the effects of square breathing on learning new motor strategies in unreliable proprioceptive conditions.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Neuromodulation of peripheral nerve excitability using ultrasound

Description

The use of a non-invasive form of energy to modulate neural structures has gained wide spread attention because of its ability to remotely control neural excitation. This study investigates the

The use of a non-invasive form of energy to modulate neural structures has gained wide spread attention because of its ability to remotely control neural excitation. This study investigates the ability of focused high frequency ultrasound to modulate the excitability the peripheral nerve of an amphibian. A 5MHz ultrasound transducer is used for the study with the pulse characteristics of 57msec long train burst and duty cycle of 8% followed by an interrogative electrical stimulus varying from 30μsecs to 2msecs in pulse duration. The nerve excitability is determined by the compound action potential (CAP) amplitude evoked by a constant electrical stimulus. We observe that ultrasound's immediate effect on axons is to reduce the electrically evoked CAP amplitude and thereby suppressive in effect. However, a subsequent time delayed increased excitability was observed as reflected in the CAP amplitude of the nerve several tens of milliseconds later. This subsequent change from ultrasound induced nerve inhibition to increased excitability as a function of delay from ultrasound pulse application is unexpected and not predicted by typical nerve ion channel kinetic models. The recruitment curve of the sciatic nerve modified by ultrasound suggests the possibility of a fiber specific response where the ultrasound inhibits the faster fibers more than the slower ones. Also, changes in the shape of the CAP waveform when the nerve is under the inhibitive effect of ultrasound was observed. It is postulated that these effects can be a result of activation of stretch activation channels, mechanical sensitivity of the nerve to acoustic radiation pressure and modulation of ion channels by ultrasound.

The neuromodulatory capabilities of ultrasound in tandem with electrical stimulation has a significant potential for development of neural interfaces to peripheral nerve.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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The Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy of Electrical Nerve Stimulation on Physiological Activity and Golf Performance

Description

Electrical nerve stimulation is a promising drug-free technology that could treat a variety of ailments and disorders. Methods like Vagus Nerve Stimulation have been used for decades to treat disorders

Electrical nerve stimulation is a promising drug-free technology that could treat a variety of ailments and disorders. Methods like Vagus Nerve Stimulation have been used for decades to treat disorders like epilepsy, and research with non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation has shown similar effects as its invasive counterpart. Non-invasive nerve stimulation methods like vagus nerve stimulation could help millions of people treat and manage various disorders.

This study observed the effects of three different non-invasive nerve stimulation paradigms in human participants. The first study analyzed the safety and efficacy of transcutaneous auricular vagal nerve stimulation in healthy humans using a bilateral stimulation protocol with uniquely designed dry-hydrogel electrodes. Results demonstrate bilateral auricular vagal nerve stimulation has significant effects on specific parameters of autonomic activity and is safe and well tolerated. The second study analyzed the effects of non-invasive electrical stimulation of a region on the side of the neck that contains the Great Auricular Nerve and the Auricular Branch of the Vagus Nerve called the tympanomastoid fissure on golf hitting performance in healthy golfers. Results did not show significant effects on hitting performance or physiological activity, but the nerve stimulation had significant effects on reducing state-anxiety and improving the quality of feel of each shot. The third study analyzed the effects of non-invasive nerve stimulation of cervical nerves on the back of the neck on putting performance of yips-affected golfers. Results demonstrated that cervical nerve stimulation had significant effects on improving putting performance but did not have significant effects on physiological activity. Data from these studies show there are potential applications for non-invasive electrical nerve stimulation for healthy and athletic populations. Future research should also examine the effects of these stimulation methods in clinical populations.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Neural Activity Mapping Using Electromagnetic Fields: An In Vivo Preliminary Functional Magnetic Resonance Electrical Impedance Tomography (fMREIT) Study

Description

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by biologically active neural tissue are critical in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases. Biological EMFs are characterized by electromagnetic properties such as electrical conductivity,

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by biologically active neural tissue are critical in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases. Biological EMFs are characterized by electromagnetic properties such as electrical conductivity, permittivity and magnetic susceptibility. The electrical conductivity of active tissue has been shown to serve as a biomarker for the direct detection of neural activity, and the diagnosis, staging and prognosis of disease states such as cancer. Magnetic resonance electrical impedance tomography (MREIT) was developed to map the cross-sectional conductivity distribution of electrically conductive objects using externally applied electrical currents. Simulation and in vitro studies of invertebrate neural tissue complexes demonstrated the correlation of membrane conductivity variations with neural activation levels using the MREIT technique, therefore laying the foundation for functional MREIT (fMREIT) to detect neural activity, and future in vivo fMREIT studies.

The development of fMREIT for the direct detection of neural activity using conductivity contrast in in vivo settings has been the focus of the research work presented here. An in vivo animal model was developed to detect neural activity initiated changes in neuronal membrane conductivities under external electrical current stimulation. Neural activity was induced in somatosensory areas I (SAI) and II (SAII) by applying electrical currents between the second and fourth digits of the rodent forepaw. The in vivo animal model involved the use of forepaw stimulation to evoke somatosensory neural activations along with hippocampal fMREIT imaging currents contemporaneously applied under magnetic field strengths of 7 Tesla. Three distinct types of fMREIT current waveforms were applied as imaging currents under two inhalants – air and carbogen. Active regions in the somatosensory cortex showed significant apparent conductivity changes as variations in fMREIT phase (φ_d and ∇^2 φ_d) signals represented by fMREIT activation maps (F-tests, p <0.05). Consistent changes in the standard deviation of φ_d and ∇^2 φ_d in cortical voxels contralateral to forepaw stimulation were observed across imaging sessions. These preliminary findings show that fMREIT may have the potential to detect conductivity changes correlated with neural activity.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Validation of Transcranial Electrical Stimulation (TES) Finite Element Modeling Against MREIT Current Density Imaging in Human Subjects

Description

Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) is a non-invasive brain stimulation therapy that has shown potential in improving motor, physiological and cognitive functions in healthy and diseased population. Typical tES procedures involve

Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) is a non-invasive brain stimulation therapy that has shown potential in improving motor, physiological and cognitive functions in healthy and diseased population. Typical tES procedures involve application of weak current (< 2 mA) to the brain via a pair of large electrodes placed on the scalp. While the therapeutic benefits of tES are promising, the efficacy of tES treatments is limited by the knowledge of how current travels in the brain. It has been assumed that the current density and electric fields are the largest, and thus have the most effect, in brain structures nearby the electrodes. Recent studies using finite element modeling (FEM) have suggested that current patterns in the brain are diffuse and not concentrated in any particular brain structure. Although current flow modeling is useful means of informing tES target optimization, few studies have validated tES FEM models against experimental measurements. MREIT-CDI can be used to recover magnetic flux density caused by current flow in a conducting object. This dissertation reports the first comparisons between experimental data from in-vivo human MREIT-CDI during tES and results from tES FEM using head models derived from the same subjects. First, tES FEM pipelines were verified by confirming FEM predictions agreed with analytic results at the mesh sizes used and that a sufficiently large head extent was modeled to approximate results on human subjects. Second, models were used to predict magnetic flux density, and predicted and MREIT-CDI results were compared to validate and refine modeling outcomes. Finally, models were used to investigate inter-subject variability and biological side effects reported by tES subjects. The study demonstrated good agreements in patterns between magnetic flux distributions from experimental and simulation data. However, the discrepancy in scales between simulation and experimental data suggested that tissue conductivities typically used in tES FEM might be incorrect, and thus performing in-vivo conductivity measurements in humans is desirable. Overall, in-vivo MREIT-CDI in human heads has been established as a validation tool for tES predictions and to study the underlying mechanisms of tES therapies.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Effects of Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation on the ANS and Proprioception: High Frequency TNS Reduces Proprioceptive End-point Error

Description

Previously accomplished research examined sensory integration between upper limb proprioception and tactile sensation. The active proprioceptive-tactile relationship points towards an opportunity to examine neuromodulation effects on sensory integration with respect

Previously accomplished research examined sensory integration between upper limb proprioception and tactile sensation. The active proprioceptive-tactile relationship points towards an opportunity to examine neuromodulation effects on sensory integration with respect to proprioceptive error magnitude and direction. Efforts to improve focus and attention during upper limb proprioceptive tasks results in a decrease of proprioceptive error magnitudes and greater endpoint accuracy. Increased focus and attention can also be correlated to neurophysiological activity in the Locus Coeruleus (LC) during a variety of mental tasks. Through non-invasive trigeminal nerve stimulation, it may be possible to affect the activity of the LC and induce improvements in arousal and attention that would assist in proprioceptive estimation. The trigeminal nerve projects to the LC through the mesencephalic nucleus of the trigeminal complex, providing a pathway similar to the effects seen from vagus nerve stimulation. In this experiment, the effect of trigeminal nerve stimulation (TNS) on proprioceptive ability is evaluated by the proprioceptive estimation error magnitude and direction, while LC activation via autonomic pathways is indirectly measured using pupil diameter, pupil recovery time, and pupil velocity. TNS decreases proprioceptive error magnitude in 59% of subjects, while having no measurable impact on proprioceptive strategy. Autonomic nervous system changes were observed in 88% of subjects, with mostly parasympathetic activation and a mixed sympathetic effect.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Effect of Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation on Sports Performance

Description

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has shown benefits beyond its original therapeutic application, though there is a lack of research into these benefits in healthy and athletic populations. To address this

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has shown benefits beyond its original therapeutic application, though there is a lack of research into these benefits in healthy and athletic populations. To address this gap in the VNS literature, the present study addresses the feasibility and possible efficacy of transcutaneous VNS (tVNS) in improving performance and various biometrics during two athletic tasks: golf tee shots and baseball pitching. Performance, cortical dynamics, anxiety measures, muscle excitation, and heart rate characteristics were assessed before and after stimulation using electroencephalography (EEG), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and electrocardiography (ECG) during the baseball and golf tasks as well as electromyography (EMG) for muscle excitation in the golf participants. Golfers exhibited increased perceived quality of each repetition (independent from outcome) and an improvement in state and trait anxiety after stimulation. Golfers in the active stimulation group also showed a greater reduction in right upper trapezius muscle excitation when compared to the sham stimulation group. Baseball pitchers exhibited an increase in perceived quality of each repetition (independent from outcome) after active stimulation but not an improvement of state and trait anxiety. No significant effects of stimulation Priming, stimulation Type, or the Priming×Type interaction were seen in heart rate, EEG, or performance in the golf or baseball tasks. The present study supports the feasibility of tVNS in sports and athletic tasks and suggests the need for future research to investigate further into the effects of tVNS on the performance, psychologic, and physiologic attributes of athletes during competition.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Effects of Transdermal Electrical Nerve Stimulation on Sleep and Mood

Description

Sleep is an essential human function. Modern day society has made it so that sleep is prioritized less and less. Professionals in critical positions such as doctors, nurses, and emergency

Sleep is an essential human function. Modern day society has made it so that sleep is prioritized less and less. Professionals in critical positions such as doctors, nurses, and emergency medical technicians can often have hectic schedules that are unforgiving toward sleep due to the increase in shift work that dominates these fields. Sleep deficits can have detrimental effects on one’s psyche and mood. Depression and anxiety both have high comorbidity rates with insomnia because of sleeping deficits. Transdermal Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) offers a potential solution to improving sleep quality and mood by modulating the ascending reticular activating system (RAS). This system starts in the anterior portion of the head with trigeminal nerve branches and is stimulated using a 500-550 Hz waveform.

In this experiment Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) scores are recorded daily to monitor mood differences between pre and post treatment (TENS vs Sham). PANAS scores were found to be insignificant between groups. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Fitbit were chosen to study perceived sleep, and objective sleep. Both PSQI, and Fitbit found insignificant differences between TENS and Sham. Finally, the Beck Depression and Beck Anxiety Inventories were administered weekly to determine if there are immediate changes to depressive and anxiety symptom, after a week of treatment (TENS vs Sham). A significant difference was found between the pre and post of the TENS treatment group. The TENS group was not found to be significantly different from Sham, potentially the result of a placebo effect. These results were found with n=10 participants in the TENS treatment group and n=6 in the sham group.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Ultrasound modulation of the central and peripheral nervous system

Description

Noninvasive neuromodulation could help treat many neurological disorders, but existing techniques have low resolution and weak penetration. Ultrasound (US) shows promise for stimulation of smaller areas and subcortical structures. However,

Noninvasive neuromodulation could help treat many neurological disorders, but existing techniques have low resolution and weak penetration. Ultrasound (US) shows promise for stimulation of smaller areas and subcortical structures. However, the mechanism and parameter design are not understood. US can stimulate tail and hindlimb movements in rats, but not forelimb, for unknown reasons. Potentially, US could also stimulate peripheral or enteric neurons for control of blood glucose.

To better understand the inconsistent effects across rat motor cortex, US modulation of electrically-evoked movements was tested. A stimulation array was implanted on the cortical surface and US (200 kHz, 30-60 W/cm2 peak) was applied while measuring changes in the evoked forelimb and hindlimb movements. Direct US stimulation of the hindlimb was also studied. To test peripheral effects, rat blood glucose levels were measured while applying US near the liver.

No short-term motor modulation was visible (95% confidence interval: -3.5% to +5.1% forelimb, -3.8% to +5.5% hindlimb). There was significant long-term (minutes-order) suppression (95% confidence interval: -3.7% to -10.8% forelimb, -3.8% to -11.9% hindlimb). This suppression may be due to the considerable heating (+1.8°C between US
on-US conditions); effects of heat and US were not separable in this experiment. US directly evoked hindlimb and scrotum movements in some sessions. This required a long interval, at least 3 seconds between US bursts. Movement could be evoked with much shorter pulses than used in literature (3 ms). The EMG latency (10 ms) was compatible with activation of corticospinal neurons. The glucose modulation test showed a strong increase in a few trials, but across all trials found no significant effect.

The single motor response and the long refractory period together suggest that only the beginning of the US burst had a stimulatory effect. This would explain the lack of short-term modulation, and suggests future work with shorter pulses could better explore the missing forelimb response. During the refractory period there was no change in the electrically-evoked response, which suggests the US stimulation mechanism is independent of normal brain activity. These results challenge the literature-standard protocols and provide new insights on the unknown mechanism.

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Date Created
  • 2015