Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive procedure that uses time varying short pulses of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. In this method, a magnetic field generator (“TMS coil”) produces small electric fields in the region of the brain via electromagnetic induction. This technique can be used to excite or inhibit firing of neurons, which can then be used for treatment of various neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, migraine, and depression. It is however challenging to focus the induced electric field from TMS coils to smaller regions of the brain. Since electric and magnetic fields are governed by laws of electromagnetism, it is possible to numerically simulate and visualize these fields to accurately determine the site of maximum stimulation and also to develop TMS coils that can focus the fields on the targeted regions. However, current software to compute and visualize these fields are not real-time and can work for only one position/orientation of TMS coil, severely limiting their usage. This paper describes the development of an application that computes magnetic flux densities (h-fields) and visualizes their distribution for different TMS coil position/orientations in real-time using GPU shaders. The application is developed for desktop, commodity VR (HTC Vive), and fully immersive VR CAVETM systems, for use by researchers, scientists, and medical professionals to quickly and effectively view the distribution of h-fields from MRI brain scans.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/rlhadimani/31/