Modelling motor cortex stimulation for chronic pain control. electrical potential field, activating functions and responses of simple nerve fibre models

L. Manola, B.H. Roelofsen, J. Holsheimer, Enrico Marani, J.A.G. Geelen

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    This computer modelling study on motor cortex stimulation (MCS) introduced a motor cortex model, developed to calculate the imposed electrical potential field characteristics and the initial response of simple fibre models to stimulation of the precentral gyrus by an epidural electrode, as applied in the treatment of chronic, intractable pain. The model consisted of two parts: a three-dimensional volume conductor based on tissue conductivities and human anatomical data, in which the stimulation-induced potential field was computed, and myelinated nerve fibre models allowing the calculation of their response to this field. A simple afferent fibre branch and three simple efferent fibres leaving the cortex at different positions in the precentral gyrus were implemented. It was shown that the thickness of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) layer between the dura mater and the cortex below the stimulating electrode substantially affected the distribution of the electrical potential field in the precentral gyrus and thus the threshold stimulus for motor responses and the therapeutic stimulation amplitude. When the CSF thickness was increased from 0 to 2.5 mm, the load impedance decreased by 28%, and the stimulation amplitude increased by 6.6 V for each millimetre of CSF. Owing to the large anode-cathode distance (10 mm centre-to-centre) in MCS, the cathodal fields in mono- and bipolar stimulation were almost identical. Calculation of activating functions and fibre responses showed that only nerve fibres with a directional component parallel to the electrode surface were excitable by a cathode, whereas fibres perpendicular to the electrode surface were excitable under an anode.
    Original languageUndefined
    Article number10.1007/BF02345810
    Pages (from-to)335-343
    Number of pages9
    JournalMedical & biological engineering & computing
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2005


    • Volume conductor model
    • EWI-8545
    • BSS-Biomechatronics and rehabilitation technology
    • METIS-224257
    • Nerve fibre model
    • Chronic pain
    • Activating function
    • Motor cortex stimulation
    • IR-63816

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