M.A Silva, A.P. See, WI Essayed, Alexandra Golby, and Yanmei Tie. 1/2018. “Challenges and Techniques for Presurgical Brain Mapping with Functional MRI.” NeuroImage: Clinical, 17, Pp. 794-803.Abstract
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is increasingly used for preoperative counseling and planning, and intraoperative guidance for tumor resection in the eloquent cortex. Although there have been improvements in image resolution and artifact correction, there are still limitations of this modality. In this review, we discuss clinical fMRI's applications, limitations and potential solutions. These limitations depend on the following parameters: foundations of fMRI, physiologic effects of the disease, distinctions between clinical and research fMRI, and the design of the fMRI study. We also compare fMRI to other brain mapping modalities which should be considered as alternatives or adjuncts when appropriate, and discuss intraoperative use and validation of fMRI. These concepts direct the clinical application of fMRI in neurosurgical patients.
Zhenrui Chen, Yanmei Tie, Olutayo Olubiyi, Fan Zhang, Alireza Mehrtash, Laura Rigolo, Pegah Kahali, Isaiah Norton, Ofer Pasternak, Yogesh Rathi, Alexandra J Golby, and Lauren J O'Donnell. 8/2016. “Corticospinal Tract Modeling for Neurosurgical Planning by Tracking through Regions of Peritumoral Edema and Crossing Fibers using Two-Tensor Unscented Kalman Filter Tractography.” Int J Comput Assist Radiol Surg, 11, 8, Pp. 1475-86.Abstract
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to present a tractography algorithm using a two-tensor unscented Kalman filter (UKF) to improve the modeling of the corticospinal tract (CST) by tracking through regions of peritumoral edema and crossing fibers. METHODS: Ten patients with brain tumors in the vicinity of motor cortex and evidence of significant peritumoral edema were retrospectively selected for the study. All patients underwent 3-T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) including functional MRI (fMRI) and a diffusion-weighted data set with 31 directions. Fiber tracking was performed using both single-tensor streamline and two-tensor UKF tractography methods. A two-region-of-interest approach was used to delineate the CST. Results from the two tractography methods were compared visually and quantitatively. fMRI was applied to identify the functional fiber tracts. RESULTS: Single-tensor streamline tractography underestimated the extent of tracts running through the edematous areas and could only track the medial projections of the CST. In contrast, two-tensor UKF tractography tracked fanning projections of the CST despite peritumoral edema and crossing fibers. Based on visual inspection, the two-tensor UKF tractography delineated tracts that were closer to motor fMRI activations, and it was apparently more sensitive than single-tensor streamline tractography to define the tracts directed to the motor sites. The volume of the CST was significantly larger on two-tensor UKF than on single-tensor streamline tractography ([Formula: see text]). CONCLUSION: Two-tensor UKF tractography tracks a larger volume CST than single-tensor streamline tractography in the setting of peritumoral edema and crossing fibers in brain tumor patients.
Maiya R Geddes, Yanmei Tie, John DE Gabrieli, Scott M McGinnis, Alexandra J Golby, and Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli. 1/2016. “Altered Functional Connectivity in Lesional Peduncular Hallucinosis with REM Sleep Behavior Disorder.” Cortex, 74, Pp. 96-106.Abstract
Brainstem lesions causing peduncular hallucinosis (PH) produce vivid visual hallucinations occasionally accompanied by sleep disorders. Overlapping brainstem regions modulate visual pathways and REM sleep functions via gating of thalamocortical networks. A 66-year-old man with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation developed abrupt-onset complex visual hallucinations with preserved insight and violent dream enactment behavior. Brain MRI showed restricted diffusion in the left rostrodorsal pons suggestive of an acute ischemic stroke. REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD) was diagnosed on polysomnography. We investigated the integrity of ponto-geniculate-occipital circuits with seed-based resting-state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI) in this patient compared to 46 controls. Rs-fcMRI revealed significantly reduced functional connectivity between the lesion and lateral geniculate nuclei (LGN), and between LGN and visual association cortex compared to controls. Conversely, functional connectivity between brainstem and visual association cortex, and between visual association cortex and prefrontal cortex (PFC) was significantly increased in the patient. Focal damage to the rostrodorsal pons is sufficient to cause RBD and PH in humans, suggesting an overlapping mechanism in both syndromes. This lesion produced a pattern of altered functional connectivity consistent with disrupted visual cortex connectivity via de-afferentation of thalamocortical pathways.
Yanmei Tie, Laura Rigolo, Aysegul Ozdemir Ovalioglu, Olutayo Olubiyi, Kelly L Doolin, Srinivasan Mukundan, and Alexandra J Golby. 9/2015. “A New Paradigm for Individual Subject Language Mapping: Movie-Watching fMRI.” J Neuroimaging, 25, 5, Pp. 710-20.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Functional MRI (fMRI) based on language tasks has been used in presurgical language mapping in patients with lesions in or near putative language areas. However, if patients have difficulty performing the tasks due to neurological deficits, it leads to unreliable or noninterpretable results. In this study, we investigate the feasibility of using a movie-watching fMRI for language mapping. METHODS: A 7-minute movie clip with contrasting speech and nonspeech segments was shown to 22 right-handed healthy subjects. Based on all subjects' language functional regions-of-interest, 6 language response areas were defined, within which a language response model (LRM) was derived by extracting the main temporal activation profile. Using a leave-one-out procedure, individuals' language areas were identified as the areas that expressed highly correlated temporal responses with the LRM derived from an independent group of subjects. RESULTS: Compared with an antonym generation task-based fMRI, the movie-watching fMRI generated language maps with more localized activations in the left frontal language area, larger activations in the left temporoparietal language area, and significant activations in their right-hemisphere homologues. Results of 2 brain tumor patients' movie-watching fMRI using the LRM derived from the healthy subjects indicated its ability to map putative language areas; while their task-based fMRI maps were less robust and noisier. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that it is feasible to use this novel "task-free" paradigm as a complementary tool for fMRI language mapping when patients cannot perform the tasks. Its deployment in more neurosurgical patients and validation against gold-standard techniques need further investigation.
Olutayo Ibukunolu Olubiyi, Aysegul Ozdemir, Fatih Incekara, Yanmei Tie, Parviz Dolati, Liangge Hsu, Sandro Santagata, Zhenrui Chen, Laura Rigolo, and Alexandra J Golby. 8/2015. “Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Intracranial Glioma Resection: A Single-Center, Retrospective Blinded Volumetric Study.” World Neurosurg, 84, 2, Pp. 528-36.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (IoMRI) was devised to overcome brain shifts during craniotomies. Yet, the acceptance of IoMRI is limited. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate impact of IoMRI on intracranial glioma resection outcome including overall patient survival. METHODS: A retrospective review of records was performed on a cohort of 164 consecutive patients who underwent resection surgery for newly diagnosed intracranial gliomas either with or without IoMRI technology performed by 2 neurosurgeons in our center. Patient follow-up was at least 5 years. Extent of resection (EOR) was calculated using pre- and postoperative contrast-enhanced and T2-weighted MR-images. Adjusted analysis was performed to compare gross total resection (GTR), EOR, permanent surgery-associated neurologic deficit, and overall survival between the 2 groups. RESULTS: Overall median EOR was 92.1%, and 97.45% with IoMRI use and 89.9% without IoMRI, with crude (unadjusted) P < 0.005. GTR was achieved in 49.3% of IoMRI cases, versus in only 21.4% of no-IoMRI cases, P < 0.001. GTR achieved was more with the use of IoMRI among gliomas located in both eloquent and noneloquent brain areas, P = 0.017 and <0.001, respectively. Permanent surgery-associated neurologic deficit was not (statistically) more significant with no-IoMRI, P = 0.284 (13.8% vs. 6.7%). In addition, the IoMRI group had better 5-year overall survival, P < 0.001. CONCLUSION: This study shows that the use of IoMRI was associated with greater rates of EOR and GTR, and better overall 5-year survival in both eloquent brain areas located and non-eloquent brain areas located gliomas, with no increased risk of neurologic complication.
Zhenrui Chen, Yanmei Tie, Olutayo Olubiyi, Laura Rigolo, Alireza Mehrtash, Isaiah Norton, Ofer Pasternak, Yogesh Rathi, Alexandra J Golby, and Lauren J O'Donnell. 3/2015. “Reconstruction of the Arcuate Fasciculus for Surgical Planning in the Setting of Peritumoral Edema using Two-tensor Unscented Kalman Filter Tractography.” Neuroimage Clin, 7, Pp. 815-22.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Diffusion imaging tractography is increasingly used to trace critical fiber tracts in brain tumor patients to reduce the risk of post-operative neurological deficit. However, the effects of peritumoral edema pose a challenge to conventional tractography using the standard diffusion tensor model. The aim of this study was to present a novel technique using a two-tensor unscented Kalman filter (UKF) algorithm to track the arcuate fasciculus (AF) in brain tumor patients with peritumoral edema. METHODS: Ten right-handed patients with left-sided brain tumors in the vicinity of language-related cortex and evidence of significant peritumoral edema were retrospectively selected for the study. All patients underwent 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) including a diffusion-weighted dataset with 31 directions. Fiber tractography was performed using both single-tensor streamline and two-tensor UKF tractography. A two-regions-of-interest approach was applied to perform the delineation of the AF. Results from the two different tractography algorithms were compared visually and quantitatively. RESULTS: Using single-tensor streamline tractography, the AF appeared disrupted in four patients and contained few fibers in the remaining six patients. Two-tensor UKF tractography delineated an AF that traversed edematous brain areas in all patients. The volume of the AF was significantly larger on two-tensor UKF than on single-tensor streamline tractography (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Two-tensor UKF tractography provides the ability to trace a larger volume AF than single-tensor streamline tractography in the setting of peritumoral edema in brain tumor patients.
Alireza Radmanesh, Amir A Zamani, Stephen Whalen, Yanmei Tie, Ralph O Suarez, and Alexandra J Golby. 2/2015. “Comparison of Seeding Methods for Visualization of the Corticospinal Tracts using Single Tensor Tractography.” Clin Neurol Neurosurg, 129, Pp. 44-9.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: To compare five different seeding methods to delineate hand, foot, and lip components of the corticospinal tract (CST) using single tensor tractography. METHODS: We studied five healthy subjects and 10 brain tumor patients. For each subject, we used five different seeding methods, from (1) cerebral peduncle (CP), (2) posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC), (3) white matter subjacent to functional MRI activations (fMRI), (4) whole brain and then selecting the fibers that pass through both fMRI and CP (WBF-CP), and (5) whole brain and then selecting the fibers that pass through both fMRI and PLIC (WBF-PLIC). Two blinded neuroradiologists rated delineations as anatomically successful or unsuccessful tractography. The proportions of successful trials from different methods were compared by Fisher's exact test. RESULTS: To delineate hand motor tract, seeding through fMRI activation areas was more effective than through CP (p<0.01), but not significantly different from PLIC (p>0.1). WBF-CP delineated hand motor tracts in a larger proportion of trials than CP alone (p<0.05). Similarly, WBF-PLIC depicted hand motor tracts in a larger proportion of trials than PLIC alone (p<0.01). Foot motor tracts were delineated in all trials by either PLIC or whole brain seeding (WBF-CP and WBF-PLIC). Seeding from CP or fMRI activation resulted in foot motor tract visualization in 87% of the trials (95% confidence interval: 60-98%). The lip motor tracts were delineated only by WBF-PLIC and in 36% of trials (95% confidence interval: 11-69%). CONCLUSIONS: Whole brain seeding and then selecting the tracts that pass through two anatomically relevant ROIs can delineate more plausible hand and lip motor tracts than seeding from a single ROI. Foot motor tracts can be successfully delineated regardless of the seeding method used.
Georg Langs, Andrew Sweet, Danial Lashkari, Yanmei Tie, Laura Rigolo, Alexandra J Golby, and Polina Golland. 12/2014. “Decoupling Function and Anatomy in Atlases of Functional Connectivity patterns: Language Mapping in Tumor Patients.” Neuroimage, 103, Pp. 462-75.Abstract
In this paper we construct an atlas that summarizes functional connectivity characteristics of a cognitive process from a population of individuals. The atlas encodes functional connectivity structure in a low-dimensional embedding space that is derived from a diffusion process on a graph that represents correlations of fMRI time courses. The functional atlas is decoupled from the anatomical space, and thus can represent functional networks with variable spatial distribution in a population. In practice the atlas is represented by a common prior distribution for the embedded fMRI signals of all subjects. We derive an algorithm for fitting this generative model to the observed data in a population. Our results in a language fMRI study demonstrate that the method identifies coherent and functionally equivalent regions across subjects. The method also successfully maps functional networks from a healthy population used as a training set to individuals whose language networks are affected by tumors.
Yanmei Tie, Laura Rigolo, Isaiah H Norton, Raymond Y Huang, Wentao Wu, Daniel Orringer, Srinivasan Mukundan, and Alexandra J Golby. 3/2014. “Defining Language Networks from Resting-state fMRI for Surgical Planning: A Feasibility Study.” Hum Brain Mapp, 35, 3, Pp. 1018-30.Abstract
Presurgical language mapping for patients with lesions close to language areas is critical to neurosurgical decision-making for preservation of language function. As a clinical noninvasive imaging technique, functional MRI (fMRI) is used to identify language areas by measuring blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal change while patients perform carefully timed language vs. control tasks. This task-based fMRI critically depends on task performance, excluding many patients who have difficulty performing language tasks due to neurologic deficits. On the basis of recent discovery of resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI), we propose a "task-free" paradigm acquiring fMRI data when patients simply are at rest. This paradigm is less demanding for patients to perform and easier for technologists to administer. We investigated the feasibility of this approach in right-handed healthy control subjects. First, group independent component analysis (ICA) was applied on the training group (14 subjects) to identify group level language components based on expert rating results. Then, four empirically and structurally defined language network templates were assessed for their ability to identify language components from individuals' ICA output of the testing group (18 subjects) based on spatial similarity analysis. Results suggest that it is feasible to extract language activations from rs-fMRI at the individual subject level, and two empirically defined templates (that focuses on frontal language areas and that incorporates both frontal and temporal language areas) demonstrated the best performance. We propose a semi-automated language component identification procedure and discuss the practical concerns and suggestions for this approach to be used in clinical fMRI language mapping.
Jean-Jacques Lemaire, Alexandra Golby, William M Wells, Sonia Pujol, Yanmei Tie, Laura Rigolo, Alexander Yarmarkovich, Steve Pieper, Carl-Fredrik Westin, Ferenc Jolesz, and Ron Kikinis. 7/2013. “Extended Broca's Area in the Functional Connectome of Language in Adults: Combined Cortical and Subcortical Single-subject Analysis using fMRI and DTI Tractography.” Brain Topogr, 26, 3, Pp. 428-41.Abstract
Traditional models of the human language circuitry encompass three cortical areas, Broca's, Geschwind's and Wernicke's, and their connectivity through white matter fascicles. The neural connectivity deep to these cortical areas remains poorly understood, as does the macroscopic functional organization of the cortico-subcortical language circuitry. In an effort to expand current knowledge, we combined functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging to explore subject-specific structural and functional macroscopic connectivity, focusing on Broca's area. Fascicles were studied using diffusion tensor imaging fiber tracking seeded from volumes placed manually within the white matter. White matter fascicles and fMRI-derived clusters (antonym-generation task) of positive and negative blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal were co-registered with 3-D renderings of the brain in 12 healthy subjects. Fascicles connecting BOLD-derived clusters were analyzed within specific cortical areas: Broca's, with the pars triangularis, the pars opercularis, and the pars orbitaris; Geschwind's and Wernicke's; the premotor cortex, the dorsal supplementary motor area, the middle temporal gyrus, the dorsal prefrontal cortex and the frontopolar region. We found a functional connectome divisible into three systems-anterior, superior and inferior-around the insula, more complex than previously thought, particularly with respect to a new extended Broca's area. The extended Broca's area involves two new fascicles: the operculo-premotor fascicle comprised of well-organized U-shaped fibers that connect the pars opercularis with the premotor region; and (2) the triangulo-orbitaris system comprised of intermingled U-shaped fibers that connect the pars triangularis with the pars orbitaris. The findings enhance our understanding of language function.
Georg Langs, Danial Lashkari, Andrew Sweet, Yanmei Tie, Laura Rigolo, Alexandra J Golby, and Polina Golland. 7/2011. “Learning an Atlas of a Cognitive Process in its Functional Geometry.” Inf Process Med Imaging, 22, Pp. 135-46.Abstract
In this paper we construct an atlas that captures functional characteristics of a cognitive process from a population of individuals. The functional connectivity is encoded in a low-dimensional embedding space derived from a diffusion process on a graph that represents correlations of fMRI time courses. The atlas is represented by a common prior distribution for the embedded fMRI signals of all subjects. The atlas is not directly coupled to the anatomical space, and can represent functional networks that are variable in their spatial distribution. We derive an algorithm for fitting this generative model to the observed data in a population. Our results in a language fMRI study demonstrate that the method identifies coherent and functionally equivalent regions across subjects.
Georg Langs, Polina Golland, Yanmei Tie, Laura Rigolo, and Alexandra J Golby. 12/2010. “Functional Geometry Alignment and Localization of Brain Areas.” Adv Neural Inf Process Syst, 1, Pp. 1225-33.Abstract
Matching functional brain regions across individuals is a challenging task, largely due to the variability in their location and extent. It is particularly difficult, but highly relevant, for patients with pathologies such as brain tumors, which can cause substantial reorganization of functional systems. In such cases spatial registration based on anatomical data is only of limited value if the goal is to establish correspondences of functional areas among different individuals, or to localize potentially displaced active regions. Rather than rely on spatial alignment, we propose to perform registration in an alternative space whose geometry is governed by the functional interaction patterns in the brain. We first embed each brain into a functional map that reflects connectivity patterns during a fMRI experiment. The resulting functional maps are then registered, and the obtained correspondences are propagated back to the two brains. In application to a language fMRI experiment, our preliminary results suggest that the proposed method yields improved functional correspondences across subjects. This advantage is pronounced for subjects with tumors that affect the language areas and thus cause spatial reorganization of the functional regions.
Ruth E Propper, Lauren J O'Donnell, Stephen Whalen, Yanmei Tie, Isaiah H Norton, Ralph O Suarez, Lilla Zollei, Alireza Radmanesh, and Alexandra J Golby. 7/2010. “A Combined fMRI and DTI Examination of Functional Language Lateralization and Arcuate Fasciculus Structure: Effects of Degree versus Direction of Hand Preference.” Brain Cogn, 73, 2, Pp. 85-92.Abstract
The present study examined the relationship between hand preference degree and direction, functional language lateralization in Broca's and Wernicke's areas, and structural measures of the arcuate fasciculus. Results revealed an effect of degree of hand preference on arcuate fasciculus structure, such that consistently-handed individuals, regardless of the direction of hand preference, demonstrated the most asymmetric arcuate fasciculus, with larger left versus right arcuate, as measured by DTI. Functional language lateralization in Wernicke's area, measured via fMRI, was related to arcuate fasciculus volume in consistent-left-handers only, and only in people who were not right hemisphere lateralized for language; given the small sample size for this finding, future investigation is warranted. Results suggest handedness degree may be an important variable to investigate in the context of neuroanatomical asymmetries.
Ralph O Suarez, Stephen Whalen, Aaron P Nelson, Yanmei Tie, Mary-Ellen Meadows, Alireza Radmanesh, and Alexandra J Golby. 10/2009. “Threshold-independent Functional MRI Determination of Language Dominance: A Validation Study Against Clinical Gold Standards.” Epilepsy Behav, 16, 2, Pp. 288-97.Abstract
Functional MRI (fMRI) is often used for presurgical language lateralization. In the most common approach, a laterality index (LI) is calculated on the basis of suprathreshold voxels. However, strong dependencies between LI and threshold can diminish the effectiveness of this technique; in this study we investigated an original methodology that is independent of threshold. We compared this threshold-independent method against the common threshold-dependent method in 14 patients with epilepsy who underwent Wada testing. In addition, clinical results from electrocortical language mapping and postoperative language findings were used to assess the validity of the fMRI lateralization method. The threshold-dependent methodology yielded ambiguous or incongruent lateralization outcomes in 4 of 14 patients in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and in 6 of 14 patients in the supramarginal gyrus (SMG). Conversely, the threshold-independent method yielded unambiguous lateralization in all the patients tested, and demonstrated lateralization outcomes incongruent with clinical standards in 2 of 14 patients in IFG and in 1 of 14 patients in SMG. This validation study demonstrates that the threshold-dependent LI calculation is prone to significant within-patient variability that could render results unreliable; the threshold-independent method can generate distinct LIs that are more concordant with gold standard clinical findings.
Yanmei Tie, Ralph O Suarez, Stephen Whalen, Alireza Radmanesh, Isaiah H Norton, and Alexandra J Golby. 8/2009. “Comparison of Blocked and Event-related fMRI Designs for Pre-surgical Language Mapping.” Neuroimage, 47 Suppl 2, Pp. T107-15.Abstract
Language functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a promising non-invasive technique for pre-surgical planning in patients whose lesions are adjacent to or within critical language areas. Most language fMRI studies in patients use blocked experimental design. In this study, we compared a blocked design and a rapid event-related design with a jittered inter-stimulus-interval (ISI) (or stochastic design) for language fMRI in six healthy controls, and eight brain tumor patients, using a vocalized antonym generation task. Comparisons were based on visual inspection of fMRI activation maps and degree of language lateralization, both of which were assessed at a constant statistical threshold for each design. The results indicated a relatively high degree of discordance between the two task designs. In general, the event-related design provided maps with more robust activations in the putative language areas than the blocked design, especially for brain tumor patients. Our results suggest that the rapid event-related design has potential for providing comparable or even higher detection power over the blocked design for localizing language function in brain tumor patients, and therefore may be able to generate more sensitive language maps. More patient studies, and further investigation and optimization of language fMRI paradigms will be needed to determine the utility and validity of this approach for pre-surgical planning.
Yanmei Tie, Stephen Whalen, Ralph O Suarez, and Alexandra J Golby. 9/2008. “Group Independent Component Analysis of Language fMRI from Word Generation Tasks.” Neuroimage, 42, 3, Pp. 1214-25.Abstract
Language fMRI has been used to study brain regions involved in language processing and has been applied to pre-surgical language mapping. However, in order to provide clinicians with optimal information, the sensitivity and specificity of language fMRI needs to be improved. Type II error of failing to reach statistical significance when the language activations are genuinely present may be particularly relevant to pre-surgical planning, by falsely indicating low surgical risk in areas where no activations are shown. Furthermore, since the execution of language paradigms involves cognitive processes other than language function per se, the conventional general linear model (GLM) method may identify non-language-specific activations. In this study, we assessed an exploratory approach, independent component analysis (ICA), as a potential complementary method to the inferential GLM method in language mapping applications. We specifically investigated whether this approach might reduce type II error as well as generate more language-specific maps. Fourteen right-handed healthy subjects were studied with fMRI during two word generation tasks. A similarity analysis across tasks was proposed to select components of interest. Union analysis was performed on the language-specific components to increase sensitivity, and conjunction analysis was performed to identify language areas more likely to be essential. Compared with GLM, ICA identified more activated voxels in the putative language areas, and signals from other sources were isolated into different components. Encouraging results from one brain tumor patient are also presented. ICA may be used as a complementary tool to GLM in improving pre-surgical language mapping.
Mesut Sahin and Yanmei Tie. 9/2007. “Non-rectangular Waveforms for Neural Stimulation with Practical Electrodes.” J Neural Eng, 4, 3, Pp. 227-33.Abstract
Historically the rectangular pulse waveform has been the choice for neural stimulation. The strength-duration curve is thus defined for rectangular pulses. Not much attention has been paid to alternative waveforms to determine if the pulse shape has an effect on the strength-duration relation. Similarly the charge injection capacity of neural electrodes has also been measured with rectangular pulses. In this study we questioned if non-rectangular waveforms can generate a stronger stimulation effect, when applied through practical electrodes, by minimizing the neural activation threshold and maximizing the charge injection capacity of the electrode. First, the activation threshold parameters were studied with seven different pulse shapes using computer simulations of a local membrane model. These waveforms were rectangular, linear increase and decrease, exponential increase and decrease, Gaussian, and sinusoidal. The chronaxie time was found to be longer with all the non-rectangular pulses and some provided more energy efficient stimulation than the rectangular waveform. Second, the charge injection capacity of titanium nitride microelectrodes was measured experimentally for the same waveforms. Linearly decreasing ramp provided the best charge injection for all pulse widths tested from 0.02 to 0.5 ms. Finally, the most efficient waveform that maximized the charge injection capacity of the electrode while providing the lowest threshold charge for neural activation was searched. Linear and exponential decrease, and Gaussian waveforms were found to be the most efficient pulse shapes.
Yanmei Tie, Mesut Sahin, and Nappinnai Sundararajan. 10/2006. “Organization in the Descending Tracts of the Dorsolateral Funiculus in the Cat.” Brain Res, 1117, 1, Pp. 61-8.Abstract
Organization of the fibers in the descending tracts of the dorsolateral funiculus of the cervical spinal cord was investigated in cats. The spinal cord was penetrated with microelectrodes at 400 mum intervals in the medio-lateral direction at the c5/c6 and c6/c7 segmental borders. Silicon substrate microelectrodes with a linear arrangement of activated iridium contacts were used. The stimulus consisted of a 20 ms train of charge balanced biphasic current pulses at 330 Hz. The evoked activities from selected forelimb muscles were acquired into computer. Only the data points with an activation threshold of less than 35 muA were considered in the analysis. Muscle contractions were mostly in the form of short twitches. In both spinal segments, an area of high threshold was found in the middle of the dorsolateral funiculus. Majority of the muscles studied had a dorsal or ventral concentration of activation points. The distal muscles were mostly activated in the ventro-lateral aspect of the funiculus, while the elbow muscle maps spread to both dorsal and ventral sides. These results show a functional organization in both cervical segments studied, with overlapping regions between the areas dedicated for each forelimb muscle.
Yanmei Tie and Mesut Sahin. 12/2005. “Separation of Spinal Cord Motor Signals using the FastICA Method.” J Neural Eng, 2, 4, Pp. 90-6.Abstract
Evoked motor signals descending down the corticospinal tract can be recorded selectively with multi-contact electrodes from the spinal cord surface. This method of extracting motor signals from the spinal cord may provide a means of communication for people with spinal cord injury. The information rate obtained with such an interface will improve if the separation of neural channels can be increased. In this study, the feasibility of increasing the channel separation was investigated using the blind source separation (BSS) technique. Neural signals recorded with multi-contact surface electrodes were treated as a linear mixture of independent neural sources located inside the spinal cord. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to estimate the dimensionality of the raw signals, and then the fixed-point FastICA algorithm was used to separate the primary neural sources from the secondary (smaller) ones. In all trials but one, the separation between the neural channels has increased by eliminating the secondary sources. These results suggest that the information rate of a spinal cord interface can be improved by separating the neural recordings into their independent components and selecting the ones with the largest distance between them. Comparison of independent component analysis (ICA) and PCA reveals that ICA performs better in this application.
Yanmei Tie, Mesut Sahin, Nappinnai Sundararajan, and Anand Rane. 9/2004. “Organization of the Fibers in the Dorsolateral Funiculus of the Cervical Spinal Cord in the Cat.” Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 7, Pp. 4696-9.Abstract
To investigate the functional organization in the lateral corticospinal tract (LCST), the cervical white matter was stimulated with multiple penetrations in the mediolateral direction at the C5/C6 and C6/C7 segmental borders in cats. Silicon substrate microelectrodes (CNCT, University of Michigan) with a linear arrangement of activated iridium contacts were used. The stimulation current consisted of a short (10-20 ms) train of charge balanced biphasic pulses at 330 Hz. The evoked limb movements were observed and the activities from selected forelimb muscles were acquired into a computer. Only the data points with an activation threshold of less than 30 muA were considered in the analysis. The muscle contractions were usually in the form of short twitches. Sustained muscle forces were observed only rarely for certain movements such as elbow flexion and digit extension in the forelimb. There exits a region in the middle of the dorsolateral funiculus for both segments where the activation threshold was relatively high (>30 microA). A segregation of the fibers according to the muscles they innervate was not found in these segmental borders. A functional organization is being investigated with further analysis.