Matching Items (7)

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Transcranial Focused Ultrasound for Modulation of Attention Networks in Humans

Description

Transcranial focused ultrasound (tFUS) is a unique neurostimulation modality with potential to develop into a highly sophisticated and effective tool. Unlike any other noninvasive neurostimulation technique, tFUS has a high

Transcranial focused ultrasound (tFUS) is a unique neurostimulation modality with potential to develop into a highly sophisticated and effective tool. Unlike any other noninvasive neurostimulation technique, tFUS has a high spatial resolution (on the order of millimeters) and can penetrate across the skull, deep into the brain. Sub-thermal tFUS has been shown to induce changes in EEG and fMRI, as well as perception and mood. This study investigates the possibility of using tFUS to modulate brain networks involved in attention and cognitive control.Three different brain areas linked to saliency, cognitive control, and emotion within the cingulo-opercular network were stimulated with tFUS while subjects performed behavioral paradigms. The first study targeted the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), which is associated with performance on cognitive attention tasks, conflict, error, and, emotion. Subjects performed a variant of the Erikson Flanker task in which emotional faces (fear, neutral or scrambled) were displayed in the background as distractors. tFUS significantly reduced the reaction time (RT) delay induced by faces; there were significant differences between tFUS and Sham groups in event related potentials (ERP), event related spectral perturbation (ERSP), conflict and error processing, and heart rate variability (HRV).
The second study used the same behavioral paradigm, but targeted tFUS to the right anterior insula/frontal operculum (aIns/fO). The aIns/fO is implicated in saliency, cognitive control, interoceptive awareness, autonomic function, and emotion. tFUS was found to significantly alter ERP, ERSP, conflict and error processing, and HRV responses.
The third study targeted tFUS to the right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG), employing the Stop Signal task to study inhibition. tFUS affected ERPs and improved stopping speed. Using network modeling, causal evidence is presented for rIFG influence on subcortical nodes in stopping.
This work provides preliminarily evidence that tFUS can be used to modulate broader network function through a single node, affecting neurophysiological processing, physiologic responses, and behavioral performance. Additionally it can be used as a tool to elucidate network function. These studies suggest tFUS has the potential to affect cognitive function as a clinical tool, and perhaps even enhance wellbeing and expand conscious awareness.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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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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Neuromodulation of olfactory learning by serotonergic signaling at glomerular synapses reveals a peripheral sensory gating mechanism

Description

Sensory gating is a process by which the nervous system preferentially admits stimuli that are important for the organism while filtering out those that may be meaningless. An optimal sensory

Sensory gating is a process by which the nervous system preferentially admits stimuli that are important for the organism while filtering out those that may be meaningless. An optimal sensory gate cannot be static or inflexible, but rather plastic and informed by past experiences. Learning enables sensory gates to recognize stimuli that are emotionally salient and potentially predictive of positive or negative outcomes essential to survival. Olfaction is the only sensory modality in mammals where sensory inputs bypass conventional thalamic gating before entering higher emotional or cognitive brain regions. Thus, olfactory bulb circuits may have a heavier burden of sensory gating compared to other primary sensory circuits. How do the primary synapses in an olfactory system "learn"' in order to optimally gate or filter sensory stimuli? I hypothesize that centrifugal neuromodulator serotonin serves as a signaling mechanism by which primary olfactory circuits can experience learning informed sensory gating. To test my hypothesis, I conditioned genetically-modified mice using reward or fear olfactory-cued learning paradigms and used pharmacological, electrophysiological, immunohistochemical, and optical imaging approaches to assay changes in serotonin signaling or functional changes in primary olfactory circuits. My results indicate serotonin is a key mediator in the acquisition of olfactory fear memories through the activation of its type 2A receptors in the olfactory bulb. Functionally within the first synaptic relay of olfactory glomeruli, serotonin type 2A receptor activation decreases excitatory glutamatergic drive of olfactory sensory neurons through both presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms. I propose that serotonergic signaling decreases excitatory drive, thereby disconnecting olfactory sensory neurons from odor responses once information is learned and its behavioral significance is consolidated. I found that learning induced chronic changes in the density of serotonin fibers and receptors, which persisted in glomeruli encoding the conditioning odor. Such persistent changes could represent a sensory gate stabilized by memory. I hypothesize this ensures that the glomerulus encoding meaningful odors are much more sensitive to future serotonin signaling as such arousal cues arrive from centrifugal pathways originating in the dorsal raphe nucleus. The results advocate that a simple associative memory trace can be formed at primary sensory synapses to facilitate optimal sensory gating in mammalian olfaction.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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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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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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The Effects of Cervical Nerve Stimulation (CNS) on Fall Risk

Description

Every year, 3 million older people are treated for fall injuries, and nearly 800,000 are hospitalized, many of which due to head injuries or hip fractures. In 2015 alone, Medicare

Every year, 3 million older people are treated for fall injuries, and nearly 800,000 are hospitalized, many of which due to head injuries or hip fractures. In 2015 alone, Medicare and Medicaid paid nearly 75% of the $50 Billion in medical costs generated by falls. As the US population continues to age, more adults are beginning to deal with movement related disorders, and the need to be able to detect and mitigate these risks is becoming more necessary. Classical metrics of fall risk can capture static stability, but recent advancements have yielded new metrics to analyze balance and stability during movement, such as the Maximum Lyapunov Exponent (MLE). Much work has been devoted to characterizing gait, but little has explored novel way to reduce fall risk with interventional therapy. Targeting certain cranial nerves using electrical stimulation has shown potential for treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in certain animal models. For human models, based on ease of access, connection to afferents leading to the lower lumber region and key brain regions, as well as general parasympathetic response, targeting the cervical nerves may have a more significant effect on balance and posture. This project explored the effects of transcutaneous Cervical Nerve Stimulation (CNS) on posture stability and gait with the practical application of ultimately applying this treatment to fall risk populations. Data was collected on each of the 31 healthy adults (22.3 ± 6.3 yrs) both pre and post stimulation for metrics representative of fall risk such as postural stability both eyes open and closed, Timed-Up-and-Go (TUG) time, gait velocity, and MLE. Significant differences manifested in the postural stability sub-metric of sway area with subject eyes open in the active stimulation group. The additional 8 metrics and sub-metrics did not show statistically significant differences among the active or sham groups. It is reasonable to conclude that transcutaneous CNS does not significantly affect fall risk metrics in healthy adults. This can potentially be attributed to either the stimulation method chosen, internal brain control mechanisms of posture and balance, analysis methods, and the Yerkes-Dodson law of optimal arousal. However, no adverse events were reported in the active group and thus is a safe therapy option for future experimentation.

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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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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Development of a neurostimulation method using pulsed ultrasound

Description

Neurostimulation methods currently include deep brain stimulation (DBS), optogenetic, transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS and tDCS are noninvasive techniques whereas DBS and optogenetic require surgical

Neurostimulation methods currently include deep brain stimulation (DBS), optogenetic, transcranial direct-current stimulation (tDCS), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). TMS and tDCS are noninvasive techniques whereas DBS and optogenetic require surgical implantation of electrodes or light emitting devices. All approaches, except for optogenetic, have been implemented in clinical settings because they have demonstrated therapeutic utility and clinical efficacy for neurological and psychiatric disorders. When applied for therapeutic applications, these techniques suffer from limitations that hinder the progression of its intended use to treat compromised brain function. DBS requires an invasive surgical procedure that surfaces complications from infection, longevity of electrical components, and immune responses to foreign materials. Both TMS and tDCS circumvent the problems seen with DBS as they are noninvasive procedures, but they fail to produce the spatial resolution required to target specific brain structures. Realizing these restrictions, we sought out to use ultrasound as a neurostimulation modality. Ultrasound is capable of achieving greater resolution than TMS and tDCS, as we have demonstrated a ~2mm lateral resolution, which can be delivered noninvasively. These characteristics place ultrasound superior to current neurostimulation methods. For these reasons, this dissertation provides a developed protocol to use transcranial pulsed ultrasound (TPU) as a neurostimulation technique. These investigations implement electrophysiological, optophysiological, immunohistological, and behavioral methods to elucidate the effects of ultrasound on the central nervous system and raise questions about the functional consequences. Intriguingly, we showed that TPU was also capable of stimulating intact sub-cortical circuits in the anesthetized mouse. These data reveal that TPU can evoke synchronous oscillations in the hippocampus in addition to increasing expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Considering these observations, and the ability to noninvasively stimulate neuronal activity on a mesoscale resolution, reveals a potential avenue to be effective in clinical settings where current brain stimulation techniques have shown to be beneficial. Thus, the results explained by this dissertation help to pronounce the significance for these protocols to gain translational recognition.

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Date Created
  • 2011