Modelling muscle twitches due to brain stimulation

How do electrical signals form at muscles as a result of transcranial magnetic stimulation of the brain?

Te Aka Mātuatua School of Science

Image not foundThis collaboration will allow us to better understand the process by which muscle twitches happen when the brain is stimulated with magnetic pulses. This research could lead ultimately to improved understanding of brain processes and improved outcomes for patients who undergo magnetic brain stimulation, for example for depression.

Dr Marcus Wilson has an ongoing collaboration with researchers at the University of Adelaide to try to describe how electrical signals form in muscles as a result of transcranial magentic stimulation.

We have constructed a numerical model that simulates how the human central nervous system responds to a short magnetic pulse applied to the brain. We have then matched this model to existing experimental data provided by The University of Adelaide and so determined strengths of key interactions in the brain, such as the strength between populations of excitatory brain cells in the cortex. We have then mapped how these strengths change following a brain stimulation intervention across many individuals.

In the future we aim to use the model to suggest brain stimulation interventions tailored to an individual, providing an improved chance of a stimulation having the desired clinical effect.

Dr Marcus Wilson

Deputy Team Leader of Chemistry and Applied Physics

I am a physicist working in Te Aka Mātuatua - School of Science. I teach Physics in Context, Climate Change Science, Science Communication and Advanced Physical Chemistry, and my research includes modelling of electrical interactions in the brain, transcranial magnetic stimulation and rechargeable batteries.