The mission of the Neuromodulation facility is to provide non-invasive magnetic (TMS) and electric (tDCS/tACS/tRNS, PNS, PAS) brain stimulation capabilities with the whole spectrum of applications, from virtual lesion approaches, over single and paired pulse mono-focal applications to determine intracortical interactions (e.g., gaba-ergic, gluatamate-ergic), bifocal applications to determine interregional interactions (e.g., interhemispherical) towards neuromodulation including modulation of oscillatory activity. This all can be done neuronavigated if excellent individual focality of the application is important.

In August 2016, the Facility room was arranged/furnished and core of the TMS equipment was delivered and installed. The neuromodulation facility was open officially on October 2016 and the equipment training and the first experiment began on January 2017.

In 2018, the neuromodulation platform welcomed the arrival of the world’s first MagVenture MagPro XP TMS stimulator dedicated to concurrent TMS-fMRI at 3T. It combines a high-power high-frequency repetitive TMS stimulator (up to 250 Hz TMS frequency) with an MRI-compatible TMS coil. Dedicated MRI coils allow to obtain the optimal MRI quality at the vicinity of the stimulation site, and record whole-brain high quality fMRI data at 3T.

The TMS equipment includes:

•    a single and paired-pulse stimulator set-up (Magstim BiStim2),
•    a high-power repetitive pulse stimulator (rTMS; Magstim Super Rapid2 Plus1),
•    the world’s first high-frequency (250 Hz) rTMS dedicated to concurrent TMS-fMRI (MagVenture MagPro XP).
•    an MRI-image guided neuronavigation system for placement of stimulating coils (Brainsight TMS),
•    a high-quality wireless EMG acquisition system (Noraxon DTS),
•    two TMS-specific experimental chairs with coil montage arms.
•    multiple TMS coils with various size (40-110 mm), cooling/sham capabilities, design (branding iron / flat handle), penetration depth (figure of eight and double cone) and MRI compatibility for concurrent TMS-fMRI.
 
The transcranial electric stimulation equipment includes:

•    MR-compatible tDCS/tACS Stimulation systems (Neuroconn DC Stimulator Plus)
•    Mobile/Home-based, remotely controlled systems (Neuroelectrics tDCS Home)
•    Simultaneous EEG-tDCS/tACS devices (Neuroelectrics StarStim8)
•    Portable Peripheral Nerve Stimulation devices (Hasomed Rehamove3)

The facility is dedicated to perform scientific projects using brain stimulation techniques in healthy subjects and also in patients with neuropsychiatric diseases. The close vicinity to the Clinical and Sleep Research Unit (CSRU) warrants adequate patient management. The CSRU is equipped to monitor clinically ambulatory patients, contains an automatized hospital bed, a tensiometer, a resuscitation trolley, a wheelchair and a nurse/TSM technician is present on site for medical assistance if needed.

Its vicinity to the other platforms, particularly EEG and MRI, is a considerable benefit and warrants to perform multi-modal research protocols in combination with non-invasive brain stimulation.

Scientific leadership of this facility is overseen by Pr. Friedhelm Hummel (EPFL) and Pr. Anne-Lise. Giraud (UNIGE), while the neuromodulation facility is managed by Dr. Olivier Reynaud.

Please contact neuromodulation@fcbg.ch for additional information, and visit https://extranet.campusbiotech.ch/resource/neuromodulation-facility to download a project application form.

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