Medical Bionics - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 119
Recording of Electrically Evoked Neural Activity and Bladder Pressure Responses in Awake Rats Chronically Implanted With a Pelvic Nerve Array
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2020-12-17)
Bioelectronic medical devices are well established and widely used in the treatment of urological dysfunction. Approved targets include the sacral S3 spinal root and posterior tibial nerve, but an alternate target is the group of pelvic splanchnic nerves, as these contain sacral visceral sensory and autonomic motor pathways that coordinate storage and voiding functions of the bladder. Here, we developed a device suitable for long-term use in an awake rat model to study electrical neuromodulation of the pelvic nerve (homolog of the human pelvic splanchnic nerves). In male Sprague-Dawley rats, custom planar four-electrode arrays were implanted over the distal end of the pelvic nerve, close to the major pelvic ganglion. Electrically evoked compound action potentials (ECAPs) were reliably detected under anesthesia and in chronically implanted, awake rats up to 8 weeks post-surgery. ECAP waveforms showed three peaks, with latencies that suggested electrical stimulation activated several subpopulations of myelinated A-fiber and unmyelinated C-fiber axons. Chronic implantation of the array did not impact on voiding evoked in awake rats by continuous cystometry, where void parameters were comparable to those published in naïve rats. Electrical stimulation with chronically implanted arrays also induced two classes of bladder pressure responses detected by continuous flow cystometry in awake rats: voiding contractions and non-voiding contractions. No evidence of tissue pathology produced by chronically implanted arrays was detected by immunohistochemical visualization of markers for neuronal injury or noxious spinal cord activation. These results demonstrate a rat pelvic nerve electrode array that can be used for preclinical development of closed loop neuromodulation devices targeting the pelvic nerve as a therapy for neuro-urological dysfunction.
Comparing fNIRS signal qualities between approaches with and without short channels
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2020-12-23)
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive technique used to measure changes in oxygenated (HbO) and deoxygenated (HbR) hemoglobin, related to neuronal activity. fNIRS signals are contaminated by the systemic responses in the extracerebral tissue (superficial layer) of the head, as fNIRS uses a back-reflection measurement. Using shorter channels that are only sensitive to responses in the extracerebral tissue but not in the deeper layers where target neuronal activity occurs has been a 'gold standard' to reduce the systemic responses in the fNIRS data from adults. When shorter channels are not available or feasible for implementation, an alternative, i.e., anti-correlation (Anti-Corr) method has been adopted. To date, there has not been a study that directly assesses the outcomes from the two approaches. In this study, we compared the Anti-Corr method with the 'gold standard' in reducing systemic responses to improve fNIRS neural signal qualities. We used eight short channels (8-mm) in a group of adults, and conducted a principal component analysis (PCA) to extract two components that contributed the most to responses in the 8 short channels, which were assumed to contain the global components in the extracerebral tissue. We then used a general linear model (GLM), with and without including event-related regressors, to regress out the 2 principal components from regular fNIRS channels (30 mm), i.e., two GLM-PCA methods. Our results found that, the two GLM-PCA methods showed similar performance, both GLM-PCA methods and the Anti-Corr method improved fNIRS signal qualities, and the two GLM-PCA methods had better performance than the Anti-Corr method.
Oculomotor Responses to Dynamic Stimuli in a 44-Channel Suprachoroidal Retinal Prosthesis
(ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2020-12-01)
Purpose: To investigate oculomotor behavior in response to dynamic stimuli in retinal implant recipients. Methods: Three suprachoroidal retinal implant recipients performed a four-alternative forced-choice motion discrimination task over six sessions longitudinally. Stimuli were a single white bar ("moving bar") or a series of white bars ("moving grating") sweeping left, right, up, or down across a 42″ monitor. Performance was compared with normal video processing and scrambled video processing (randomized image-to-electrode mapping to disrupt spatiotemporal structure). Eye and head movement was monitored throughout the task. Results: Two subjects had diminished performance with scrambling, suggesting retinotopic discrimination was used in the normal condition and made smooth pursuit eye movements congruent to the moving bar stimulus direction. These two subjects also made stimulus-related eye movements resembling optokinetic reflex (OKR) for moving grating stimuli, but the movement was incongruent with stimulus direction. The third subject was less adept at the task, appeared primarily reliant on head position cues (head movements were congruent to stimulus direction), and did not exhibit retinotopic discrimination and associated eye movements. Conclusions: Our observation of smooth pursuit indicates residual functionality of cortical direction-selective circuits and implies a more naturalistic perception of motion than expected. A distorted OKR implies improper functionality of retinal direction-selective circuits, possibly due to retinal remodeling or the non-selective nature of the electrical stimulation. Translational Relevance: Retinal implant users can make naturalistic eye movements in response to moving stimuli, highlighting the potential for eye tracker feedback to improve perceptual localization and image stabilization in camera-based visual prostheses.
Interpreting the Effect of Stimulus Parameters on the Electrically Evoked Compound Action Potential and on Neural Health Estimates.
(Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2021-02)
Variations in the condition of the neural population along the length of the cochlea can degrade the spectral and temporal representation of sounds conveyed by CIs, thereby limiting speech perception. One measurement that has been proposed as an estimate of neural survival (the number of remaining functional neurons) or neural health (the health of those remaining neurons) is the effect of stimulation parameters, such as the interphase gap (IPG), on the amplitude growth function (AGF) of the electrically evoked compound action potential (ECAP). The extent to which such measures reflect neural factors, rather than non-neural factors (e.g. electrode orientation, electrode-modiolus distance, and impedance), depends crucially upon how the AGF data are analysed. However, there is currently no consensus in the literature for the correct method to interpret changes in the ECAP AGF due to changes in stimulation parameters. We present a simple theoretical model for the effect of IPG on ECAP AGFs, along with a re-analysis of both animal and human data that measured the IPG effect. Both the theoretical model and the re-analysis of the animal data suggest that the IPG effect on ECAP AGF slope (IPG slope effect), measured using either a linear or logarithmic input-output scale, does not successfully control for the effects of non-neural factors. Both the model and the data suggest that the appropriate method to estimate neural health is by measuring the IPG offset effect, defined as the dB offset between the linear portions of ECAP AGFs for two stimuli differing only in IPG.
Objective measurement of tinnitus using functional near-infrared spectroscopy and machine learning
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2020-11-18)
Chronic tinnitus is a debilitating condition which affects 10-20% of adults and can severely impact their quality of life. Currently there is no objective measure of tinnitus that can be used clinically. Clinical assessment of the condition uses subjective feedback from individuals which is not always reliable. We investigated the sensitivity of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to differentiate individuals with and without tinnitus and to identify fNIRS features associated with subjective ratings of tinnitus severity. We recorded fNIRS signals in the resting state and in response to auditory or visual stimuli from 25 individuals with chronic tinnitus and 21 controls matched for age and hearing loss. Severity of tinnitus was rated using the Tinnitus Handicap Inventory and subjective ratings of tinnitus loudness and annoyance were measured on a visual analogue scale. Following statistical group comparisons, machine learning methods including feature extraction and classification were applied to the fNIRS features to classify patients with tinnitus and controls and differentiate tinnitus at different severity levels. Resting state measures of connectivity between temporal regions and frontal and occipital regions were significantly higher in patients with tinnitus compared to controls. In the tinnitus group, temporal-occipital connectivity showed a significant increase with subject ratings of loudness. Also in this group, both visual and auditory evoked responses were significantly reduced in the visual and auditory regions of interest respectively. Naïve Bayes classifiers were able to classify patients with tinnitus from controls with an accuracy of 78.3%. An accuracy of 87.32% was achieved using Neural Networks to differentiate patients with slight/ mild versus moderate/ severe tinnitus. Our findings show the feasibility of using fNIRS and machine learning to develop an objective measure of tinnitus. Such a measure would greatly benefit clinicians and patients by providing a tool to objectively assess new treatments and patients' treatment progress.
Auditory Stream Segregation and Selective Attention for Cochlear Implant Listeners: Evidence From Behavioral Measures and Event-Related Potentials
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2018-08-21)
The role of the spatial separation between the stimulating electrodes (electrode separation) in sequential stream segregation was explored in cochlear implant (CI) listeners using a deviant detection task. Twelve CI listeners were instructed to attend to a series of target sounds in the presence of interleaved distractor sounds. A deviant was randomly introduced in the target stream either at the beginning, middle or end of each trial. The listeners were asked to detect sequences that contained a deviant and to report its location within the trial. The perceptual segregation of the streams should, therefore, improve deviant detection performance. The electrode range for the distractor sounds was varied, resulting in different amounts of overlap between the target and the distractor streams. For the largest electrode separation condition, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded under active and passive listening conditions. The listeners were asked to perform the behavioral task for the active listening condition and encouraged to watch a muted movie for the passive listening condition. Deviant detection performance improved with increasing electrode separation between the streams, suggesting that larger electrode differences facilitate the segregation of the streams. Deviant detection performance was best for deviants happening late in the sequence, indicating that a segregated percept builds up over time. The analysis of the ERP waveforms revealed that auditory selective attention modulates the ERP responses in CI listeners. Specifically, the responses to the target stream were, overall, larger in the active relative to the passive listening condition. Conversely, the ERP responses to the distractor stream were not affected by selective attention. However, no significant correlation was observed between the behavioral performance and the amount of attentional modulation. Overall, the findings from the present study suggest that CI listeners can use electrode separation to perceptually group sequential sounds. Moreover, selective attention can be deployed on the resulting auditory objects, as reflected by the attentional modulation of the ERPs at the group level.
Balance control systems in Parkinson's disease and the impact of pedunculopontine area stimulation
(OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2018-10-01)
Impaired balance is a major contributor to falls and diminished quality of life in Parkinson's disease, yet the pathophysiology is poorly understood. Here, we assessed if patients with Parkinson's disease and severe clinical balance impairment have deficits in the intermittent and continuous control systems proposed to maintain upright stance, and furthermore, whether such deficits are potentially reversible, with the experimental therapy of pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulation. Two subject groups were assessed: (i) 13 patients with Parkinson's disease and severe clinical balance impairment, implanted with pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulators; and (ii) 13 healthy control subjects. Patients were assessed in the OFF medication state and blinded to two conditions; off and on pedunculopontine nucleus stimulation. Postural sway data (deviations in centre of pressure) were collected during quiet stance using posturography. Intermittent control of sway was assessed by calculating the frequency of intermittent switching behaviour (discontinuities), derived using a wavelet-based transformation of the sway time series. Continuous control of sway was assessed with a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller model using ballistic reaction time as a measure of feedback delay. Clinical balance impairment was assessed using the 'pull test' to rate postural reflexes and by rating attempts to arise from sitting to standing. Patients with Parkinson's disease demonstrated reduced intermittent switching of postural sway compared with healthy controls. Patients also had abnormal feedback gains in postural sway according to the PID model. Pedunculopontine nucleus stimulation improved intermittent switching of postural sway, feedback gains in the PID model and clinical balance impairment. Clinical balance impairment correlated with intermittent switching of postural sway (rho = - 0.705, P < 0.001) and feedback gains in the PID model (rho = 0.619, P = 0.011). These results suggest that dysfunctional intermittent and continuous control systems may contribute to the pathophysiology of clinical balance impairment in Parkinson's disease. Clinical balance impairment and their related control system deficits are potentially reversible, as demonstrated by their improvement with pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulation.
Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Deep Brain Stimulation Think Tank: Advances in Neurophysiology, Adaptive DBS, Virtual Reality, Neuroethics and Technology
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2020-03-27)
The Seventh Annual Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Think Tank held on September 8th of 2019 addressed the most current: (1) use and utility of complex neurophysiological signals for development of adaptive neurostimulation to improve clinical outcomes; (2) Advancements in recent neuromodulation techniques to treat neuropsychiatric disorders; (3) New developments in optogenetics and DBS; (4) The use of augmented Virtual reality (VR) and neuromodulation; (5) commercially available technologies; and (6) ethical issues arising in and from research and use of DBS. These advances serve as both "markers of progress" and challenges and opportunities for ongoing address, engagement, and deliberation as we move to improve the functional capabilities and translational value of DBS. It is in this light that these proceedings are presented to inform the field and initiate ongoing discourse. As consistent with the intent, and spirit of this, and prior DBS Think Tanks, the overarching goal is to continue to develop multidisciplinary collaborations to rapidly advance the field and ultimately improve patient outcomes.
The Association of HMGB1 Gene with the Prognosis of HCC
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2014-02-19)
High-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) is an evolutionarily ancient and critical regulator of cell death and survival. HMGB1 is a chromatin-associated nuclear protein molecule that triggers extracellular damage. The expression of HMGB1 has been reported in many types of cancers, but the role of HMGB1 in hepato cellular carcinoma (HCC) is unknown.The aim of this study was to analyze the roles of HMGB1 in HCC progression using HCC clinical samples. We also investigated the clinical outcomes of HCC samples with a special focus on HMBG1 expression. In an immunohistochemical study conducted on 208 cases of HCC, HMGB1 had high expression in 134 cases(64.4%).The HMGB1 expression level did not correlate with any clinicopathological parameters, except alpha fetoprotein (AFP) (p = 0.041) and CLIP stage (p = 0.007). However, survival analysis showed that the group with HMBG1 overexpression had a significantly shorter overall survival time than the group with a down-regulated expression of HMBG1 (HR = 0.568, CI (0.398, 0.811), p = 0.002). Multivariate analysis showed that HMGB1 expression was a significant and independent prognostic parameter (HR = 0.562, CI (0.388, 0.815), p = 0.002) for HCC patients. The ability of proliferation, migration and invasion of HCC cells was suppressed with the disruption of endogenous HMGB1 using small interfering RNAs. On the other hand, the ability of proliferation, migration and invasion of HCC cells was strengthened when the expression endogenous HMGB1 was enhanced using HMGB1 DNA. HMGB1 expression may be a novel and independent predictor for the prognosis of HCC patients. The overexpression of HMGB1 in HCC could be a novel, effective, and supplementary biomarker for HCC, since it plays a vital role in the progression of HCC.
Across-frequency combination of interaural time difference in bilateral cochlear implant listeners.
(Frontiers Media SA, 2014)
The current study examined how cochlear implant (CI) listeners combine temporally interleaved envelope-ITD information across two sites of stimulation. When two cochlear sites jointly transmit ITD information, one possibility is that CI listeners can extract the most reliable ITD cues available. As a result, ITD sensitivity would be sustained or enhanced compared to single-site stimulation. Alternatively, mutual interference across multiple sites of ITD stimulation could worsen dual-site performance compared to listening to the better of two electrode pairs. Two experiments used direct stimulation to examine how CI users can integrate ITDs across two pairs of electrodes. Experiment 1 tested ITD discrimination for two stimulation sites using 100-Hz sinusoidally modulated 1000-pps-carrier pulse trains. Experiment 2 used the same stimuli ramped with 100 ms windows, as a control condition with minimized onset cues. For all stimuli, performance improved monotonically with increasing modulation depth. Results show that when CI listeners are stimulated with electrode pairs at two cochlear sites, sensitivity to ITDs was similar to that seen when only the electrode pair with better sensitivity was activated. None of the listeners showed a decrement in performance from the worse electrode pair. This could be achieved either by listening to the better electrode pair or by truly integrating the information across cochlear sites.
Temporal Processing in the Auditory System
Central auditory processing in humans was investigated by comparing the perceptual effects of temporal parameters of electrical stimulation in auditory midbrain implant (AMI) and cochlear implant (CI) users. Four experiments were conducted to measure the following: effect of interpulse intervals on detection thresholds and loudness; temporal modulation transfer functions (TMTFs); effect of duration on detection thresholds; and forward masking decay. The CI data were consistent with a phenomenological model that based detection or loudness decisions on the output of a sliding temporal integration window, the input to which was the hypothetical auditory nerve response to each stimulus pulse. To predict the AMI data, the model required changes to both the neural response input (i.e., midbrain activity to AMI stimuli, compared to auditory nerve activity to CI stimuli) and the shape of the integration window. AMI data were consistent with a neural response that decreased more steeply compared to CI stimulation as the pulse rate increased or interpulse interval decreased. For one AMI subject, the data were consistent with a significant adaptation of the neural response for rates above 200 Hz. The AMI model required an integration window that was significantly wider (i.e., decreased temporal resolution) than that for CI data, the latter being well fit using the same integration window shape as derived from normal-hearing data. These models provide a useful way to conceptualize how stimulation of central auditory structures differs from stimulation of the auditory nerve and to better understand why AMI users have difficulty processing temporal cues important for speech understanding.