TAP: Targeting and Analysis Pipeline for Optimization and Verification of Coil Placement in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

SOURCE: Journal of Neural Engineering. 19(2), 2022 Apr 21.

AUTHORS: Dannhauer M; Huang Z; Beynel L; Wood E; Bukhari-Parlakturk N; Peterchev AV

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can modulate brain function via an electric field (E-field) induced in a brain region of interest (ROI). The ROI E-field can be computationally maximized and set to match a specific reference using individualized head models to find the optimal coil placement and stimulus intensity. However, the available software lacks many practical features for prospective planning of TMS interventions and retrospective evaluation of the experimental targeting

APPROACH: The TMS targeting and analysis pipeline (TAP) software uses an MRI/fMRI-derived brain target to optimize coil placement considering experimental parameters such as the subject’s hair thickness and coil placement restrictions. The coil placement optimization is implemented in SimNIBS 3.2, for which an additional graphical user interface (TargetingNavigator) is provided to visualize/adjust procedural parameters. The coil optimization process also computes the E-field at the target, allowing the selection of the TMS device intensity setting to achieve specific E-field strengths. The optimized coil placement information is prepared for neuronavigation software, which supports targeting during the TMS procedure. The neuronavigation system can record the coil placement during the experiment, and these data can be processed in TAP to quantify the accuracy of the experimental TMS coil placement and induced E-field.

MAIN RESULTS: TAP was demonstrated in a study consisting of three repetitive TMS sessions in five subjects. TMS was delivered by an experienced operator under neuronavigation with the computationally optimized coil placement. Analysis of the experimental accuracy from the recorded neuronavigation data indicated coil location and orientation deviations up to about 2 mm and 2degree, respectively, resulting in an 8% median decrease in the target E-field magnitude compared to the optimal placement.

SIGNIFICANCE: TAP supports navigated TMS with a variety of features for rigorous and reproducible stimulation delivery, including planning and evaluation of coil placement and intensity selection for
E-field-based dosing.