Deep learning-based development of personalized human head model with non-uniform conductivity for brain stimulation

6 Oct 2019  ·  Essam A. Rashed, Jose Gomez-Tames, Akimasa Hirata ·

Electromagnetic stimulation of the human brain is a key tool for the neurophysiological characterization and diagnosis of several neurological disorders. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is one procedure that is commonly used clinically. However, personalized TMS requires a pipeline for accurate head model generation to provide target-specific stimulation. This process includes intensive segmentation of several head tissues based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which has significant potential for segmentation error, especially for low-contrast tissues. Additionally, a uniform electrical conductivity is assigned to each tissue in the model, which is an unrealistic assumption based on conventional volume conductor modeling. This paper proposes a novel approach to the automatic estimation of electric conductivity in the human head for volume conductor models without anatomical segmentation. A convolutional neural network is designed to estimate personalized electrical conductivity values based on anatomical information obtained from T1- and T2-weighted MRI scans. This approach can avoid the time-consuming process of tissue segmentation and maximize the advantages of position-dependent conductivity assignment based on water content values estimated from MRI intensity values. The computational results of the proposed approach provide similar but smoother electric field results for the brain when compared to conventional approaches.

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