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Taking a closer look at the brain

Nexstim’s Navigated Brain Stimulation (NBS) technology opens up exciting new diagnostic opportunities for measuring the state of brain tissue. Combining image-guided Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) with high-resolution, multichannel electroencephalography to map the excitability of the cortex, NBS helps physicians gain a more accurate view of the brain non-invasively.

Nexstim’s NBS technology makes it possible to target brain stimulation based on individual anatomy very precisely. As a result, it offers an excellent complement to established brain-imaging modalities – such as fMRI, PET, and MEG – thanks to its capability of detecting changes in the nervous system that are invisible using other techniques.

It does this by triggering selected areas of the cortex into action in a controlled manner and then monitoring them using a high-resolution, TMS-compatible electroencephalography (EEG) system. NBS is completely painless, and is ideal for diagnosing trauma, strokes, and motor disorders, and for following up patients recovering from neuronal disorders.

NBS can be used for helping diagnose diseases of the nervous system and related injuries, as well as for testing the efficacy of pharmaceuticals and therapies. As NBS can measure the functional state of neurons and their connections, it also opens up a completely new dimension in basic brain research.

Nexstim technology offers new insights into the brain that go far beyond what conventional imaging can achieve. Initial customers were mainly university hospitals and research facilities, but an increasing number of central and regional hospitals are expected to become customers in the near future for presurgical cortical mapping and stroke evaluation and treating severe depression, intractable pain, tinnitus, schizophrenia, and stroke.

Stereotactic navigation and reaction scans, combined with simultaneous EEG investigations, are ideal for imaging the brain during behavioural and drug studies – and can help medical professionals in areas such as evaluating stroke cases, planning minimally invasive surgery, and measuring changes in cortical excitability after treatment.

Easy to set up, easy to use

Nexstim’s eXimia NBS system offers excellent navigational accuracy; and one and the same platform can be used for both clinical work and research.

The system is fast to set up and ready for use in a matter of minutes, and is easy to use as well. Calculating exact TMS stimulus location and dose is carried out online; and full case histories, with location and dose calculations, are stored automatically for follow-up sessions.

While fully compatible with Medtronic and Magstim TMS stimulators, the system works at its best with Nexstim’s own eXimia TMS Stimulator, which is the only device able to provide truly precise control of stimulus location and dose and offer excellent TMS reproducibility.

Combined with eXimia NBS, the eXimia EEG system offers enhanced precision and reproducibility for TMS manipulations.

> Jukka-Pekka Särkkä
(Published in HighTech Finland 2008)