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A brief history of magnetic stimulation

Excellent reviews of history of magnetic stimulation are given by Anthony Barker (J Clin Neurophysiol. 8:26-37, 1991) and by Leslie Geddes (J Clin Neurophysiol. 8:3-9, 1991).

References to historical papers are given below the table.

1771Luigi Galvanianimal electricity
1819Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851)electromagnetism
1831Michael Faraday (1791-1851)electromagnetic induction
1833Duchenne de Boulognestimulation of muscles with surface electrodes
1853Hermann von Helmholtzmeasurement of speed of nerve impulses with electrical stimulation and mechanical twitch recorder; pioneering discoveries in electromagnetism (reciprocity etc.)
1874Roberts Bartholowexcitability of the human brain while stimulating the exposed cortex in a patient with a large cranial defect
1896Arsenne d'Arsonval"phosphenes and vertigo, and in some persons, syncope" when the subjects head was placed inside an induction coil
visual sensations, i.e., magnetophosphenes: "a faint flickering illumination, colorless or a blush tint"
1911Magnusson & Stevens"when the direct current was initiated, a luminous horizontal bar was perceived moving downward"
1947Barlow & al. "as to the locus of excitation, we believe that this is retinal"
1959Kolinfirst to stimulate magnetically nerves (a frog sciatic-nerve)
1965Bickford & Fremmingfirst to stimulate the human nerves magnetically using harmonic magnetic fields
Maass & Asa
P. Ň. ÷berg
muscle twitches in animals and human subjects
1976Polson, Barker & Freestonstimulation with brief magnetic field pulses and first demonstration of peripheral nerve stimulation with simultaneous electromyographic recordings
1980Merton & Mortonnon-invasive brain stimulation with scalp electrodes
1985Barker & al.non-invasive, painless, cortical stimulation with magnetic fields
David Cohen
Shoogo Ueno
the idea and realization of the figure-of-eight coil
1989RQ Cracco, VE Amassian, PJ Maccabee & JB Craccorecording of magnetically evoked cortical responses from the scalp with electrodes placed on the other side of the head
1987/88Cadwell Laboratories Inc.repetitive stimulation with water-cooled coil

References to historical works:

  1. d'Arsonval, A. Dispositifs pour la mesure des courants alternatifs de toutes fréquences. C.R.Soc.Biol.(Paris) 3:450-457, 1896.
  2. Beer, B. Uber das Auftrafen einer objective Lichtempfindung in magnetischen Felde. Klin Wochenschr 15:108-109, 1902.
  3. Thompson, S.P. A physiological effect of an alternating magnetic field. Proc R Soc Lond [Biol] B82:396-399, 1910.
  4. Dunlap, K. Visual sensations from the alternating magnetic field. Science 33:68-71, 1911.
  5. Magnusson, C.E. and Stevens, H.C. Visual sensations created by a magnetic field. Am J Physiol 29:124-136, 1911.
  6. Walsh, P. Magnetic stimulation of the human retina. Fed Proc 5(Part 2):109-110, 1946.
  7. Barlow, H.B., Kohn, H.L., and Walsh, E.G. Visual sensations aroused by magnetic fields. Am J Physiol 148:372-375, 1947.
  8. Kolin, A., Brill, N.Q., and Broberg, P.J. Stimulation of irritable tissues by means of an alternating magnetic field. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 102:251-253, 1959.
  9. Bickford, R.G. and Fremming, B.D. Neural stimulation by pulsed magnetic fields in animals and man. Digest of the 6th International Conference on Medical Electronics and Biological Engineering. Tokyo. Abstract 7-6, 1965.
  10. Irwin, D.D., Rush, S., Evering, R., Lepeschkin, D., Montgomery, B., and Weggel, R. Stimulation of cardiac muscle by a time-varying magnetic field. IEEE Trans Magn 6:321-322, 1970.
  11. Maass, J. and Asa, M. Contactless nerve stimulation and signal detection by inductive transducer. IEEE Trans Magn 6:322-326, 1970.
  12. Öberg, P.Å. Magnetic stimulation of nerve tissue. Med & Biol Eng & Comput 11:55-64, 1973.
  13. Merton, P.A. and Morton, H.B. Stimulation of the cerebral cortex in the intact human subject. Nature 285:227, 1980.
  14. Polson, M.J.R., Barker, A.T., and Freeston, I.L. Stimulation of nerve trunks with time-varying magnetic fields. Med & Biol Eng & Comput 20:243-244, 1982.
  15. Cohen, D. Feasibility of a magnetic stimulator for the brain. In Biomagnetism: applications and theory. Editors: Weinberg, H., Stroink, G., and Katila, T. Pergamon press, p. 466-470, 1984.
  16. Barker, A.T., Jalinous, R., and Freeston, I. Non-invasive magnetic stimulation of the human motor cortex. Lancet 1:1106-1107, 1985.
  17. Ueno, S., Tashiro, T., and Harada, K. Localized stimulation of neural tissue in the brain by means of a paired configuration of time-varying magnetic fields. J Appl. Physics 64:5862-5864, 1988.
  18. Cracco, R.Q., Amassian, V.E., Maccabee, P.J., and Cracco, J.B. Comparison of human transcallosal responses evoked by magnetic coil and electrical stimulation. Electroenceph clin Neurophysiol 74:417-424, 1989.

Original content by Jarmo Ruohonen, edited and converted to HTML 4.0 by Jussi Nurminen

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