Dosimetry Analysis in Non-brain Tissues During TMS Exposure of Broca's and M1 Areas

Front Neurosci. 2021 Feb 19:15:644951. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.644951. eCollection 2021.


For human protection, the internal electric field is used as a dosimetric quantity for electromagnetic fields lower than 5-10 MHz. According to international standards, in this frequency range, electrostimulation is the main adverse effect against which protection is needed. One of the topics to be investigated is the quantification of the internal electric field threshold levels of perception and pain. Pain has been reported as a side effect during transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), especially during stimulation of the Broca's (speech) area of the brain. In this study, we designed an experiment to conduct a dosimetry analysis to quantify the internal electric field corresponding to perception and pain thresholds when targeting the Broca's and M1 areas from magnetic stimulator exposure. Dosimetry analysis was conducted using a multi-scale analysis in an individualized head model to investigate electrostimulation in an axonal model. The main finding is that the stimulation on the primary motor cortex has higher perception and pain thresholds when compared to Broca's area. Also, TMS-induced electric field applied to Broca's area exhibited dependence on the coil orientation at lower electric field threshold which was found to be related to the location and thickness of pain fibers. The derived dosimetry quantities provide a scientific rationale for the development of human protection guidelines and the estimation of possible side effects of magnetic stimulation in clinical applications.

Keywords: TMS; dosimetry; nerve model; pain threshold; perception threshold; side-effects; standardization.