Low-intensity transcranial ultrasound (TUS) can non-invasively modulate human neural activity. We investigated how different fundamental sonication parameters influence the effects of TUS on the motor cortex (M1) of 16 healthy subjects by probing cortico-cortical excitability and behaviour. A low-intensity 500 kHz TUS transducer was coupled to a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) coil. TMS was delivered 10 ms before the end of TUS to the left M1 hotspot of the first dorsal interosseous muscle. Varying acoustic parameters (pulse repetition frequency, duty cycle and sonication duration) on motor-evoked potential amplitude were examined. Paired-pulse measures of cortical inhibition and facilitation, and performance on a visuomotor task was also assessed. TUS safely suppressed TMS-elicited motor cortical activity, with longer sonication durations and shorter duty cycles when delivered in a blocked paradigm. TUS increased GABAA-mediated short-interval intracortical inhibition and decreased reaction time on visuomotor task but not when controlled with TUS at near-somatosensory threshold intensity.
Data used for this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.Files for 3D printing the stimulating devices and custom MATLAB scripts used for stimulation have been deposited into a cited GitHub repository.
- Anton Fomenko
- Robert Chen
- Anton Fomenko
- Andres M Lozano
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: All patients gave written informed consent and the protocol was approved by the UHN Research Ethics Board (Protocol #18-5082) in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki on the use of human subjects in experiments.
- Laura Dugué, Université de Paris, France
© 2020, Fomenko et al.
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