Maria Drakaki

PhD project by Maria Drakaki

Name: Maria Drakaki
Project Title: Computational modeling of the effects and side-effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation
Group: Neurophysics
Supervisors: Axel Thielscher and Kristoffer H. Madsen

Project Description: 
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive method that uses electromagnetic induction to facilitate or inhibit brain activity and modulate cortical neurophysiology. Nevertheless, the mechanisms behind TMS are not well known, which results in unwanted side-effects. We aim to develop models of existing commercial coils that will serve as an input to the FEM software SimNIBS to calculate the electric field distribution of each one of them. TMS experiments will be performed to build up a rich empirical database on the side‐effects of TMS. A volume conductor model of the head will be extended to include models of cranial and cortical nerves to simulate nerve excitation. Combining the electric field distributions and the neural dynamics we aim to develop a quantitative computational model to estimate the physiological effects and side-effects of TMS. 

TMS has many important applications in clinical diagnostics and treatment as well as in brain research. Examples include the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or the mapping of motor and language brain areas before tumor resection. We anticipate that this project will serve as a tool to test and compare commercial TMS coils to develop more efficient and more comfortable coils in terms of side effects. Furthermore, improved TMS treatment sessions will create a better experience for the patients.


Maria Drakaki
DTU Sundhedsteknologi


Axel Thielscher
Sektionsleder, Professor
DTU Sundhedsteknologi
45 25 53 13


Kristoffer Hougaard Madsen
DTU Compute
45 25 39 00