(19)
(11)EP 3 260 049 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
27.11.2019 Bulletin 2019/48

(21)Application number: 16752375.2

(22)Date of filing:  10.02.2016
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61B 10/00  (2006.01)
A61B 5/1455  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2016/053955
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/132989 (25.08.2016 Gazette  2016/34)

(54)

FUNCTIONAL NEAR-INFRARED SPECTROSCOPE AND SPECTROSCOPY

FUNKTIONELLES NAHINFRAROT-SPEKTROSKOP UND SPEKTROSKOPIE

SPECTROSCOPE EN PROCHE INFRAROUGE FONCTIONNEL ET SPECTROSCOPIE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 16.02.2015 JP 2015027690

(43)Date of publication of application:
27.12.2017 Bulletin 2017/52

(73)Proprietor: National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
Tokyo 100-8921 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • YAMADA, Toru
    Tsukuba-shi Ibaraki 305-8568 (JP)
  • UMEYAMA, Shinji
    Tsukuba-shi Ibaraki 305-8560 (JP)

(74)Representative: Altmann Stößel Dick Patentanwälte PartG mbB 
Dudenstrasse 46
68167 Mannheim
68167 Mannheim (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
JP-A- 2009 268 707
US-A1- 2013 102 907
US-A1- 2006 006 343
  
  • UMEYAMA SHINJI ET AL: "Detection of an unstable and/or a weak probe contact in a multichannel functional near-infrared spectroscopy measurement", INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR OPTICAL ENGINEERING, SPIE, PO BOX 10 BELLINGHAM WA 98227-0010 USA, vol. 18, no. 4, 1 April 2013 (2013-04-01), page 47003, XP060024137, ISSN: 1083-3668, DOI: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.4.047003 [retrieved on 2013-04-03]
  • TORU YAMADA ET AL.: 'Use of the Wavelength Differential Method to Eliminate Baseline Drift in the Assessment of Cerebral Function Using NIRS' TRANSACTIONS OF JAPANESE SOCIETY FOR MEDICAL AND BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING vol. 43, no. 4, December 2005, pages 530 - 537, XP055477708
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description

Technical Field



[0001] The present invention relates to a brain-functional near infrared spectroscopy device and measurement method.

Background Art



[0002] A brain-functional near infrared spectroscopy method (i.e., functional near-infrared spectroscopy; hereinafter also abbreviated as "fNIRS") is a method of measuring the dynamics of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin that change along with the activities of cerebral nerves, utilizing a property that hemoglobin in the blood has different spectral absorption properties in the near-infrared region when carrying oxygen (oxyhemoglobin) and when not carrying oxygen (deoxyhemoglobin), and has been regarded as one of the important methods for non-invasively detecting brain function activities. Usually, a light source and a detector are arranged at a distance of 30 mm from each other above the scalp. Near-infrared light with a plurality of wavelengths is caused to pass through surface layer tissue from the light source and reach brain tissue, and the change in hemoglobin in each state is measured depending on the light intensity that has returned to the detector on the surface of the head as well as the spectral absorption properties of hemoglobin. Such a light source and a detector are called probes, and a pair of a light source and a detector that are arranged and used for measurement in this manner is called a channel.

[0003] In such measurement, contact between each probe and living tissue is very important. A probe usually has a window with a diameter of several millimeters, whereas the spacing between hairs on the head of a human, or even an adult are about 1 millimeter. Therefore, it is practically difficult to remove all of hairs immediately below the window and allow the probe to contact the scalp. Accordingly, light attenuation always occurs between the scalp and the probe, and the amount of such light attenuation differs depending on the volume of hairs immediately below the probe and the degree of contact between the probe and the scalp. Therefore, when multi-channel measurement in which a number of such probes are arranged in parallel is performed, the light intensity detected greatly differs from channel to channel.

[0004] In response to the foregoing circumstances, commercially available multi-channel fNIRS devices first perform tentative measurement to conduct a calibration process of amplifying a detector signal to an appropriate level for a channel in which the light intensity is insufficient. This is in order to effectively use the resolution of an A/D converter during measurement. The original signal contains the light intensity and noise. However, as the degree of amplifying the original signal differs from channel to channel, a signal obtained through such a calibration process will have noise components (noise dispersion) that differ for each channel. For example, a device that uses photomultiplier tubes as detectors has noise derived from dark current that differs from channel to channel by as large as about 20 times when a voltage between 700 V and 1000 V, which is in the range of the normal calibration process, is applied. Therefore, prior to execution of the actual measurement, an operation of carefully removing hairs immediately below probes of a channel in which the light intensity is insufficient and noise is large is repeated, and compromise is reached at a certain stage to start collecting data. This operation is a bottle neck that takes much labor and time in the multi-channel fNIRS measurement. In addition, the measured data has large variations in quality depending on the degree of proficiency of an experimenter who attaches the probes as well as the volume, color, and the like of hairs of a test subject or a measurement position (see Patent Literature 1 and Non Patent Literature 1).

[0005] Further, using such a signal intensity calibration method becomes a big obstacle in performing statistical analysis of signals as indicated below. Multi-channel fNIRS devices often use, as a typical form of operation, a method of measuring changes in brain-functional activities for multiple channels in an area of a certain degree of size, and inspecting at which portion of the measured region the activity has been prominent. Meanwhile, most of the orthodox statistical analysis methods are designed based on a premise that sample groups should have equal dispersions. Therefore, it has been impossible to apply the strict statistical analysis to the fNIRS measured data having noise dispersion in a signal that greatly differs from channel to channel, and consequently, a statistical formulation for quantitative comparison among multi-channel data has not been developed yet.

Citation List


Patent Literature



[0006] Patent Literature 1: JP2014-83069 A

Non Patent Literature



[0007] Non Patent Literature 1: S. Umeyama and T. Yamada, "Detection of an unstable and/or a weak probe contact in a multichannel functional near-infrared spectroscopy measurement", Journal of Biomedical Optics, 18(4), 047003, 2013.

Summary of Invention


Technical Problem



[0008]  The present invention solves such difficulties in the multi-channel fNIRS measurement, that is, the problems of the complex operation of attaching probes and the difference in the noise levels of data among channels. Specifically, a systematic method is proposed that minimizes noise levels and dispersion among all measurement channels and by increasing the incident light intensity within the safe range for living tissues.

Solution to Problem



[0009] In order to solve the aforementioned problems, the present invention provides a brain-functional near infrared spectroscopy device, including n light source probes i (where 1≤i≤n) and m detector probes j (where n+1≤j≤n+m) each arranged on a surface of a head; an optical attenuator i configured to guide light at a wavelength λ from each light source to each light source probe i, at a transmittance ai; an optical attenuator j configured to transmit light with the wavelength λ detected with each detector probe j to a measurement data unit, at a transmittance aj; and control means for processing detected data received by the measurement data unit to detect a brain function activity from a change in absorbance of measured light on the basis of spectral absorption properties of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin in N channels k (where 1≤k≤N) each including one of the light source probes i and one of the detector probes j. The control performs the following in advance: (1) setting transmittances of all of the optical attenuators to 1, setting intensities of all of the light sources to a maximum light intensity within a safe irradiation range, and determining an effective illumination intensity of each light source probe i as well as a minimum effective illumination intensity and a maximum effective illumination intensity thereof, and changing the transmittance ai of each optical attenuator i on the light source probe side to a value obtained by dividing the minimum effective illumination intensity by the effective illumination intensity of each light source probe i, thereby levelling the effective illumination intensity, and (2) increasing the intensities of all of the light sources by W times (where W=the maximum effective illumination intensity/the minimum effective incident efficiency), and determining the effective detection rate of each detector probe j as well as the minimum effective detection rate thereof, and then performing control so as to level the effective detection rate by changing the transmittance aj of each optical attenuator j on the detector probe side to a value obtained by dividing the minimum effective detection rate by the effective detection rate of each detector probe j, thereby equalizing dispersion of detector noise of oxyhemoglobin and dispersion of detector noise of deoxyhemoglobin among all the channels k.

[0010] In addition, the present invention provides a brain-functional near infrared spectroscopy method, including arranging n light source probes i (where 1≤i≤n) and m detector probes j (where n+1≤j≤n+m) on a surface of a head; guiding, via an optical attenuator i, light with a wavelength λ from each light source to each light source probe i, at a transmittance ai; transmitting, via an optical attenuator j, light with the wavelength λ detected with each detector probe j to a measurement data unit, at a transmittance aj; processing detected data received by the measurement data unit to detect a brain function activity from a change in absorbance of measured light on the basis of spectral absorption properties of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin in N channels k (where 1≤k≤N) each including one of the light source probes i and one of the detector probes j, the method further including a step of attaching all of the light source probes i and all of the detector probes j to the surface of a head, and setting transmittances of all of the optical attenuators to 1, setting intensities of all of the light sources to a maximum light intensity within a safe irradiation range, and determining an effective illumination intensity of each light source probe i as well as a minimum effective illumination intensity and a maximum effective illumination intensity thereof; a step of changing the transmittance ai of each optical attenuator i on the light source probe side to a value obtained by dividing the minimum effective illumination intensity by the effective illumination intensity of each light source probe i, thereby levelling the effective illumination intensity; a step of increasing the intensities of all of the light sources by W times (where W=the maximum effective illumination intensity/the minimum effective illumination intensity), and determining the effective detection rate of each detector probe j as well as the minimum effective detection rate thereof; and a step of levelling the effective detection rate by changing the transmittance aj of each optical attenuator j on the detector probe side to a value obtained by dividing the minimum effective detection rate by the effective detection rate of each detector probe j, thereby equalizing in advance dispersion of detector noise of oxyhemoglobin and dispersion of detector noise of deoxyhemoglobin among all the channels k.

Advantageous Effects of Invention



[0011] The conventional brain-functional near infrared spectroscopy device is further provided with optical attenuators i at positions between light sources and light source probes i, and is also provided with optical attenuators j at positions between detector probes j and a measurement data unit. The transmittance ai of each optical attenuator i on the light source probe side is changed in advance by a control device so as to level the effective amounts of incident light. Next, the transmittance aj of each optical attenuator j on the detector probe side is changed so as to level the effective detection rate, whereby dispersion of detector noise of oxyhemoglobin and dispersion of detector noise of deoxyhemoglobin can be equalized among all channels k.

Brief Description of Drawings



[0012] 

Fig. 1 is a diagram illustrating an embodiment of a brain-functional near infrared spectroscopy device of the present invention; and

Fig. 2 is a diagram illustrating an exemplary arrangement of light irradiation probes (light source probes) and light detection probes (detector probes) in accordance with the present invention and a probe arrangement matrix thereof.


Description of Embodiments



[0013] The inventors considered that the difficulty in performing statistical comparison between channels in multi-channel fNIRS measurement essentially results from the fact that apparent noise dispersion in a signal has varied due to a signal amplification factor changed in accordance with the detected light intensity, and thus attempted to solve the problem by individually introducing an optical attenuator for each probe and increasing or reducing the light intensity to control the noise dispersion. However, in multi-channel measurement in which both a plurality of light source probes and a plurality of detector probes are used in a complex manner, adjustment of a single optical attenuator will influence the noise dispersion of a plurality of associated channels. Therefore, the inventors have formulated a systematic method for adjusting a plurality of optical attenuators to thereby provide a measurement device and a measurement method that realize equalized and minimized noise dispersion among channels regardless of a channel arrangement within the range that the maximum illumination intensity is within the safety criterion for living tissues.

[0014] First of all, a loss of light that occurs in the whole process in which light with each wavelength emitted from the light source unit is collected by a detector in the detection unit during measurement is considered. Provided that the number of light source probes is n, the number of detector probes is m, a pair of a light source probe and a detector probe form a single channel, and the total number of channels in the device is N, it is known that a change in the absorbance of detected light with a wavelength of λ in a channel k (where 1≤k≤N), which is formed by a light source probe i (where 1≤i≤n) and a detector probe j (where n+1≤i≤n+m), can be represented by the following Equation (1) (see Equation (13) of Patent Literature 1 above of the inventors or Equation (12) of Non Patent Literature 1).
[Math. 1]



[0015] Herein, ΔAk,λ(t) represents an absorbance change in the channel k; Rk,λ(t) represents the tissue transmittance in the channel k; Ik,λ represents the incident light intensity from the light source probe i; and nj,λ,(t) represents noise generated in the detector during measurement with the detector probe j. In addition, temporal changes in the transmittance in accordance with light attenuation between the light source probe/detector probe and the scalp are represented by i,λ(t)ri,0, r̃j,λ(t)rj,0, and it has been found that the temporal changes in the transmittance fluctuate as fluctuation patterns i,λ(t), i,λ(t) around given averages ri,0(t)ri,0, rj,0,λ (see Patent Literature 1 and Non Patent Literature 1). Further, the transmittance at the wavelength λ of each optical attenuator i connected to each light source probe is represented by ai (where 1≤i≤n, 0≤ai≤1), and the transmittance at the wavelength λ of each optical attenuator j connected to each detector probe is represented by aj (where n+1≤j≤n+m, 0≤aj≤1).

[0016] The first term of the right-hand side of Equation (1) above indicates an absorbance change with a hemoglobin change in the tissue, and the second term indicates a base line fluctuation generated due to a body motion and the like. Further, the third term indicates noise resulting from measurement noise from the photodetector. In this specification, such noise is referred to as detector noise. Now, consider that a signal is filtered through a high-pass filter to observe detector noise. At this time, fluctuations of the transmittance between the probes and the scalp i,λ(t)ri,0, i,λ(t)rj,0, and fluctuations of the tissue transmittance Rk,λ(t) are filtered because they are slack, and they become constant values as ri,0, rj,0,λ,R. At this time, the level hk,λ(t) of detector noise in the channel k can be represented as follows.
[Math. 2]



[0017] Herein, provided that the molar absorption coefficient matrix of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin at two observed wavelengths is represented by E and the inverse matrix thereof is represented by

noise components hoxy,k(t) derived from detector noise included in the observed temporal changes of oxyhemoglobin are represented by the following Equation (3).
[Math. 3]



[0018] Since noise generated in all detectors is estimated to be white noise, and such a property is regarded as common to all of the individual detector elements (j) as well as a plurality of wavelengths (λ) for a single detector element, all of nj,λ1(t) and nj,λ2(t) are independent and homoscedastic. Provided that the standard deviation thereof is σn, dispersion of the detector noise hoxy,k(t) should be observed as seen in the following Equation (4).
[Math. 4]



[0019] Similarly, noise dispersion of deoxyhemoglobin is represented by the following Equation (5).
[Math. 5]



[0020] Herein, Jk,λ, indicates the observed light intensity with the wavelength λ in the channel k, and is represented by the following Equation (6).
[Math. 6]



[0021] Equalizing the dispersion of the observed detector noise σ2oxy,k or σ2doxy,k among the channels shall be hereafter referred to as "leveling." An object of the present invention is to realize this.

[0022] Now, if the ratio βk between the observed light intensity with two wavelengths is determined as the following Equation (7),
[Math. 7]

Equations (4) and (5) above can be represented by the following Equations (8) and (9), respectively.
[Math. 8]


[Math. 9]



[0023] Ii,λ2/Ii,λ1 that form βk in Equation (7) above is a constant determined in accordance with the settings of the light source intensity for each wavelength. In addition, ri,0,λ2/ri,0,λ1 and rj,0,λ2/rj,0,λ1 indicate the wavelength dependence of the light transmittance in the air between the scalp and each probe, and can be regarded as a constant that is independent of the probe position. Therefore, βk is a constant that is independent of the channel position. Further, since uxy is also a constant that is determined by the wavelength used and the absorption properties of hemoglobin, the denominators of Equations (8) and (9) are all constants. In order to level noise, it is found to be acceptable as long as the transmittances ai,aj of the optical attenuators are adjusted so that the observed light intensity Jk,λ1 or Jk,λ2 becomes equal among the channels. In the actual adjusting operation, the observed light intensity is influenced by fluctuations of the transmittance between each probe and the scalp or of tissue. However, measuring the light intensity that has passed through a low-pass filter with an appropriate frequency band can easily eliminate such influence. Through such adjustment, noise of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin can be levelled concurrently.

[0024] However, in multi-channel brain-functional near infrared spectroscopy, a single light source probe is usually used for measurement of a plurality of adjacent channels. This is also the same for a detector probe. Therefore, it is quite often the case that when, in order to change the observed light intensity in a given channel, the associated optical attenuator is adjusted, the observed light intensity in an adjacent channel can also change. In this manner, it is not as easy as it looks to perform an operation of equalizing the observed light intensity in all channels under the conditions that the plurality of probes operate in a complex manner.

[0025] Herein, in the present invention, the light source side and the detector side are separately considered, and the aforementioned operation is realized through (1) an operation of equalizing the light intensity that actually becomes incident on tissue of the head (hereinafter referred to as "effective illumination intensity") among all the light source probes and (2) an operation of equalizing the rate of actually detecting light emerging from the tissue of the head (hereinafter referred to as "effective detection rate") among all the detector probes. To that end, specific procedures for formulating a method of estimating the effective illumination intensity and the effective detection rate for a given channel, and then leveling detector noise on the basis of real-time monitoring of the estimated amounts will be described next.

[0026] The observed light intensity is represented by a relational expression of the product of each variable as indicated by Equation (6) above. Taking the logarithm of Equation (6), the following Equation can be provided as a relational expression of the linear sum of each variable.
[Math. 10]

It should be noted that:
[Math. 11]

Herein, the first term Ii,λlairi,0l of Equation (10) indicates the effective illumination intensity, and the second term rj,0,λlaj indicates the effective detection rate.

[0027] Next, the relationship between a channel being measured and probes that form the channel is represented by a matrix called a probe arrangement matrix as in Patent Literature 1 of the inventors and Non Patent Literature 1. The probe arrangement matrix G is a matrix of N×(n+m), and when the light source probe i and the detector probe j form the channel k, the elements are defined as follows.
[Math. 12]

G differs depending on the channel/probe arrangement adopted in each fNIRS device. For example, when four channels are formed as in a of Fig. 2 using two light source probes and two detector probes, G becomes b as illustrated in Fig. 2. Whatever scale or channel/probe arrangement of patterns is adopted, only one G is always determined correspondingly, and also, only one G+, which is a pseudo-inverse matrix of G, is determined correspondingly. With the probe arrangement matrix G, the relational expression of Equation (7) concerning a given channel can be represented as the following matrix arithmetic expression:
[Math. 13]

Herein, sλ is a column vector having as elements logJk,λ (where1≤k≤N), logarithms of the observed light intensity, and is provided through actual measurement. Meanwhile, ρλ is a column vector represented by the following Equation (14) having as elements of a term log(Ii,λairi,0,λC1) (where 1≤i≤n) concerning the effective illumination intensity to be estimated and a term log(rj,0ajC2) (where n+1≤j≤n+m) concerning the effective detection rate.
[Math. 14]



[0028] When Equation (13) is multiplied by G+ from the left-hand side, the particular solution of ρλ is determined as follows.
[Math. 15]



[0029] When Equations (14) and (15) above are compared, the following relation is obtained.
[Math. 16]


[Math. 17]

Therefore, the effective illumination intensity and the effective detection rate can be estimated as ebi,λ/C1 (where 1≤i≤n) and ebj,λ/C2 (where (n+1≤j≤n+m), respectively. Herein, the effective illumination intensity ebi,λ/C1 is independent of the adjustment of aj, and the effective detection rate ebj,λ/C2 is independent of the adjustment of ai. Therefore, it is possible to avoid the difficulty of mutual interference of the adjustments via a probe network that would otherwise occur if the observed light intensity Jk,λ, is directly levelled. Although the equations that represent the effective illumination intensity and the effective detection rate include undetermined coefficients C1 and C2, respectively, the present invention can complete the leveling procedures without such coefficients determined as described below.

[0030] (To be strict, when Equations (16) and (17) are derived by converting Equations (14) and (15) into exponential forms, respectively, new scaling constants other than C1 and C2 are generated. Therefore, the uniqueness of the constants among the probes should be discussed. In conclusion, such constants can be estimated to be unique for all probes in a given probe network. Hereinafter, (i) to (iv) below will be discussed in detail.
  1. (i) The general solution of simultaneous indeterminate equations can be represented by the sum of a particular solution and the solution of an associated equation Gρλ= 0.
  2. (ii) When G+sλ is considered using the pseudo-inverse matrix G+, since GG+sλ = GG+Gρλ = Gρλ = sλ, G+sλ is the particular solution of sλ = Gρλ.
  3. (iii) Next, the associated equation Gρλ = 0 is considered. Provided that the number of light source probes is n and the number of detector probes is m, the following x is determined as the solution of the associated equation.



[0031] When reconstruction of the observed light intensity Jk,λ in the channel k, which is formed by the light source probe i and the detector probe j, from a given solution is considered, Jk,λ = Ii,λai,0,λC1C2rj,0,λaj should be established from Equations (6) and (11). In order to satisfy this, xi + yj = 0 should be satisfied in the solution of the associated equation. That is, xi = -yi = c (herein, c is a given constant).

[0032] By the way, there is also a similar request for another channel k' that shares the light source probe i in common. Therefore, provided that a detector probe associated with the channel k' is j', xi + yj' = 0 should be established. Therefore, yj = yj' is established. Similarly, xi = xi' is established between channels that share the detector probe j in common.

[0033] Therefore, in a probe network configured to include channels that share a light source probe and a detector probe in common, x = (c,c,···,c,-c,-c,···,-c)T is established for all of the light source probes i and the detector probes j.
(iv) Accordingly, the general solution of sλ = Gρλ can be expressed as ρλ = G+sλ + (c,c,···,c,-c)-c,···,-c)T with c as a given constant. This ensures that the scale constants included in the effective illumination intensity and the effective detection rate that are estimated with the method of the present invention have unique values among the probes and thus that such values can be mutually compared among the probes.

[0034] Leveling of detector noise in the brain-functional near infrared spectroscopy device of the present invention will be described. In the measurement device, the maximum light intensity that can be emitted from the light source probes in accordance with the safety guideline of illumination for living tissues is assumed to be Isafe. At this time, it is obvious that even the maximum value

of the effective illumination intensity of the light source probes is less than or equal to Isafe. Setting the effective illumination intensity of all of the light source probes to be equal to

is the method of realizing a noise-levelled condition with the most favorable measurement S/N while maintaining the safety for living tissues. However, in a condition in which such levelling has been achieved, there may be cases where the light intensity emitted from some light source probe may exceed Isafe. Thus, if the probe is detached from the surface of the head or is moved to the scalp portion with a less volume of hairs in such an unadjusted condition, excessive light irradiation can occur. Therefore, it becomes further necessary to avoid such a circumstance for the sake of safety. The procedures for levelling and measuring detector noise in which the aforementioned circumstance is taken into consideration are described below.
  1. 1. Attach the probes to the head, and then set the transmittances of all of the optical attenuators in the device to 1 and set the intensities of all of the light sources to Isafe.
  2. 2. With the settings of 1. above, select one of the two wavelengths λ, and estimate ebi,λ, ebj,λ of each probe by following Equations (16) and (17), that is, the effective illumination intensity and the effective detection rate ebi,λ/C1, ebjλ/C2.
  3. 3. Set the transmittance ai of each optical attenuator on the light source probe side as in the following Equation (18):
    [Math. 18]

    and level the effective illumination intensity ebi,λ/C1.
  4. 4. Next, increase the intensities of all of the light sources by W times as determined by the following Equation (19).
    [Math. 19]

  5. 5. Set the transmittance aj of each optical attenuator on the detector probe side as in the following Equation (20):
    [Math. 20]

    and level the effective detection rate ebj,λ/C2.
  6. 6. Levelling of detector noise of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin is achieved through the aforementioned settings. Data is measured with such settings maintained.
  7. 7. Concurrently with the termination of the measurement, the state in 1. is restored or the outputs of all of the light sources are interrupted. It should be noted that as represented by Equations (18) to (20) above, the procedures can be performed irrespective of the undetermined coefficient C1 or C2 in all of the processes 1. to 7. above.

Industrial Applicability



[0035] Although levelling of detector noise of a brain-functional near infrared spectroscopy device has been described above, the present invention can be applied as long as a probe network configured to include channels that share a light source probe and a detector probe in common is used.


Claims

1. A brain-functional near infrared spectroscopy device, comprising:

n light source probes i (where 1≤i≤n) and m detector probes j (where n+1≤j≤n+m) each arranged on a surface of a head;

an optical attenuator i configured to guide light with a wavelength λ from each light source to each light source probe i, at a transmittance ai;

an optical attenuator j configured to transmit light with the wavelength λ detected with each detector probe j to a measurement data unit, at a transmittance aj; and

control means for processing detected data received by the measurement data unit to detect a brain function activity from a change in absorbance of measured light on the basis of spectral absorption properties of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin in N channels k (where 1≤k≤N) each including one of the light source probes i and one of the detector probes j,

wherein:
the control means performs the following in advance:

(1) setting transmittances of all of the optical attenuators to 1, setting intensities of all of the light sources to a maximum light intensity within a safe irradiation range, and determining an effective illumination intensity of each light source probe i as well as a minimum effective illumination intensity and a maximum effective illumination intensity thereof, and
changing the transmittance ai of each optical attenuator i on the light source probe side to a value obtained by dividing the minimum effective illumination intensity by the effective illumination intensity of each light source probe i, thereby levelling the effective illumination intensity, and

(2) increasing the intensities of all of the light sources by W times (where W=the maximum effective illumination intensity/the minimum effective incident efficiency), and determining the effective detection rate of each detector probe j as well as the minimum effective detection rate thereof, and

performing control so as to level the effective detection rate by changing the transmittance aj of each optical attenuator j on the detector probe side to a value obtained by dividing the minimum effective detection rate by the effective detection rate of each detector probe j, thereby equalizing dispersion of detector noise of oxyhemoglobin and dispersion of detector noise of deoxyhemoglobin among all the channels k.


 
2. A brain-functional near infrared spectroscopy method, comprising:

arranging n light source probes i (where 1≤i≤n) and m detector probes j (where n+1≤j≤n+m) on a surface of a head;

guiding, via an optical attenuator i, light with a wavelength λ from each light source to each light source probe i, at a transmittance ai;

transmitting, via an optical attenuator j, light with the wavelength λ detected with each detector probe j to a measurement data unit, at a transmittance aj;

processing detected data received by the measurement data unit to detect a brain function activity from a change in absorbance of measured light on the basis of spectral absorption properties of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin in N channels k (where 1≤k≤N) each including one of the light source probes i and one of the detector probes j, the method further comprising:

a step of attaching all of the light source probes i and all of the detector probes j to the surface of a head, and setting transmittances of all of the optical attenuators to 1, setting intensities of all of the light sources to a maximum light intensity within a safe irradiation range, and determining an effective illumination intensity of each light source probe i as well as a minimum effective illumination intensity and a maximum effective illumination intensity thereof;

a step of changing the transmittance ai of each optical attenuator i on the light source probe side to a value obtained by dividing the minimum effective illumination intensity by the effective illumination intensity of each light source probe i, thereby levelling the effective illumination intensity;

a step of increasing the intensities of all of the light sources by W times (where W=the maximum effective illumination intensity/the minimum effective incident efficiency), and determining the effective detection rate of each detector probe j as well as the minimum effective detection rate thereof; and

a step of levelling the effective detection rate by changing the transmittance aj of each optical attenuator j on the detector probe side to a value obtained by dividing the minimum effective detection rate by the effective detection rate of each detector probe j, thereby equalizing in advance dispersion of detector noise of oxyhemoglobin and dispersion of detector noise of deoxyhemoglobin among all the channels k.


 


Ansprüche

1. Hirnfunktions-Nahinfrarot-Spektroskopievorrichtung, umfassend:

n Lichtquellensonden i (wobei 1≤i≤n) und m Detektorsonden j (wobei n+1≤j≤n+m), die jeweils auf einer Oberfläche eines Kopfes angeordnet sind;

ein optischer Abschwächer i, der zum Leiten von Licht mit einer Wellenlänge λ von jeder Lichtquelle zu jeder Lichtquellensonde i mit einer Lichtdurchlässigkeit ai ausgelegt ist;

ein optischer Abschwächer j, der zum Übertragen von Licht mit der Wellenlänge λ, das mit jeder Detektorsonde j nachgewiesen wurde, zu einer Messdateneinheit mit einer Lichtdurchlässigkeit aj ausgelegt ist; und

Steuermittel zum Verarbeiten der nachgewiesenen Daten, die von der Messdateneinheit empfangen wurden, um eine Gehirnfunktionsaktivität aus einer Veränderung des Absorptionsvermögens des gemessenen Lichts auf Basis der spektralen Absorptionseigenschaften von Oxyhämoglobin und Desoxyhämoglobin in N Kanälen k (wobei 1≤k≤N), die jeweils eine der Lichtquellensonden i und eine der Detektorsonden j aufweisen, nachzuweisen,

wobei:
das Steuermittel das Folgende im Voraus durchführt:

(1) Einstellen von Lichtdurchlässigkeiten aller optischen Abschwächer auf 1, Einstellen von Intensitäten aller Lichtquellen auf eine maximale Lichtintensität innerhalb eines sicheren Bestrahlungsbereichs und Bestimmen einer wirksamen Beleuchtungsintensität jeder Lichtquellensonde i sowie einer minimalen wirksamen Beleuchtungsintensität und einer maximalen wirksamen Beleuchtungsintensität davon, und
Verändern der Lichtdurchlässigkeit ai jedes optischen Abschwächers i auf der Lichtquellensondenseite auf einen Wert, der durch Division der minimalen wirksamen Beleuchtungsintensität durch die wirksame Beleuchtungsintensität jeder Lichtquellensonde i erhalten wurde, wodurch die wirksame Beleuchtungsintensität ausgeglichen wird, und

(2) Erhöhen der Intensitäten aller Lichtquellen um das W-Fache (wobei W=die maximale wirksame Beleuchtungsintensität/die minimale wirksame einfallende Effizienz), und Bestimmen der wirksamen Detektionsrate jeder Detektorsonde j sowie der minimalen wirksamen Detektionsrate davon, und

Durchführen einer Steuerung, um die effektive Detektionsrate durch Veränderung der Lichtdurchlässigkeit aj jedes optischen Abschwächers j auf der Detektorsondenseite auf einen Wert, der durch Division der minimalen wirksamen Detektionsrate durch die wirksame Detektionsrate jeder Detektorsonde j erhalten wurde, auszugleichen, wodurch die Ausbreitung von Detektorrauschen von Oxyhämoglobin und die Ausbreitung von Detektorrauschen von Desoxyhämoglobin unter allen Kanälen k egalisiert wird.


 
2. Hirnfunktions-Nahinfrarot-Spektroskopieverfahren, umfassend:

Anordnen von n Lichtquellensonden i (wobei 1≤i≤n) und m Detektorsonden j (wobei n+1≤j≤n+m) auf einer Oberfläche eines Kopfes;

Leiten, über einen optischen Abschwächer i, von Licht mit einer Wellenlänge λ von jeder Lichtquelle zu jeder Lichtquellensonde i mit einer Lichtdurchlässigkeit ai;

Übertragen, durch einen optischen Abschwächer j, von Licht mit der Wellenlänge A, das mit jeder Detektorsonde j nachgewiesen wurde, zu einer Messdateneinheit mit einer Lichtdurchlässigkeit aj;

Verarbeiten von nachgewiesenen Daten, die von der Messdateneinheit empfangen wurden, um eine Gehirnfunktionsaktivität aus einer Veränderung des Absorptionsvermögens des gemessenen Lichts auf Basis von spektralen Absorptionseigenschaften von Oxyhämoglobin und Desoxyhämoglobin in N Kanälen k (wobei 1≤k≤N), die jeweils eine der Lichtquellensonden i und eine der Detektorsonden j aufweisen, nachzuweisen, wobei das Verfahren ferner das Folgende umfasst:

einen Schritt der Befestigung aller Lichtquellensonden i und aller Detektorsonden j an der Oberfläche eines Kopfes, und der Einstellung von Lichtdurchlässigkeiten aller optischen Abschwächer auf 1, der Einstellung von Intensitäten aller Lichtquellen auf eine maximale Lichtintensität innerhalb eines sicheren Bestrahlungsbereichs und der Bestimmung einer wirksamen Beleuchtungsintensität jeder Lichtquellensonde i sowie einer minimalen wirksamen Beleuchtungsintensität und einer maximalen wirksamen Beleuchtungsintensität davon;

einen Schritt der Veränderung der Lichtdurchlässigkeit ai jedes optischen Abschwächers i auf der Lichtquellensondenseite auf einen Wert, der durch Division der minimalen wirksamen Beleuchtungsintensität durch die wirksame Beleuchtungsintensität jeder Lichtquellensonde i erhalten wurde, wodurch die wirksame Beleuchtungsintensität ausgeglichen wird;

einen Schritt der Erhöhung der Intensitäten aller Lichtquellen um das W-Fache (wobei W=die maximale wirksame Beleuchtungsintensität/die minimale wirksame einfallende Effizienz), und der Bestimmung der wirksamen Detektionsrate jeder Detektorsonde j sowie der minimalen wirksamen Detektionsrate davon; und

einen Schritt des Ausgleichs der wirksamen Detektionsrate durch Veränderung der Lichtdurchlässigkeit aj jedes optischen Abschwächers j auf der Detektorsondenseite auf einen Wert, der durch Division der minimalen wirksamen Detektionsrate durch die wirksame Detektionsrate jeder Detektorsonde j erhalten wurde, wodurch die Ausbreitung von Detektorrauschen von Oxyhämoglobin und die Ausbreitung von Detektorrauschen von Desoxyhämoglobin unter allen Kanälen k im Voraus egalisiert wird.


 


Revendications

1. Dispositif de spectroscopie en proche infrarouge fonctionnelle du cerveau, comprenant :

n sondes de source de lumière i (où 1≤i≤n) et m sondes de détecteur j (où n+1≤j≤n+m) agencées chacune sur une surface d'une tête ;

un atténuateur optique i configuré pour guider la lumière d'une longueur d'onde A de chaque source de lumière vers chaque sonde de source de lumière i, à une transmittance ai ;

un atténuateur optique j configuré pour transmettre la lumière de longueur d'onde A détectée avec chaque sonde de détecteur j à une unité de données de mesure, à une transmittance aj ; et

des moyens de commande pour traiter des données détectées reçues par l'unité de données de mesure pour détecter une activité de fonction cérébrale à partir d'un changement d'absorbance de la lumière mesurée sur la base des propriétés d'absorption spectrale d'oxyhémoglobine et de désoxyhémoglobine dans N canaux k (où 1≤k≤N) comprenant chacun une des sondes de source de lumière i et une des sondes de détecteur j,

les moyens de commande réalisant à l'avance les opérations suivantes :

(1) réglage des transmittances de tous les atténuateurs optiques à 1, réglage des intensités de toutes les sources lumineuses à une intensité lumineuse maximale dans une plage de rayonnement sûre, et détermination d'une intensité d'éclairage efficace de chaque sonde de source de lumière i ainsi que d'une intensité d'éclairage effective minimale et d'une intensité d'éclairage effective maximale de celle-ci, et
changement de la transmittance ai de chaque atténuateur optique i du côté de la sonde de source de lumière à une valeur obtenue en divisant l'intensité lumineuse effective minimale par l'intensité lumineuse effective de chaque sonde de source de lumière i, nivelant ainsi l'intensité lumineuse effective, et

(2) augmentation de l'intensité de toutes les sources lumineuses par W fois (où W=l'intensité d'éclairage effective maximale/l'efficacité d'incidence effective minimale), et détermination du taux de détection effectif de chaque sonde de détecteur j ainsi que le taux de détection effectif minimal de celle-ci, et

réalisation de la commande de manière à niveler le taux de détection effectif en changeant la transmittance aj de chaque atténuateur optique j du côté de la sonde de détecteur à une valeur obtenue en divisant le taux de détection effectif minimal par le taux de détection effectif de chaque sonde de détecteur j, égalisant ainsi la dispersion de bruit de détecteur d'oxyhémoglobine et la dispersion de bruit de détecteur de désoxyhémoglobine parmi tous les canaux k.


 
2. Procédé de spectroscopie en proche infrarouge fonctionnelle du cerveau, comprenant :

la disposition de n sondes de source de lumière i (où 1≤i≤n) et de m sondes de détecteur j (où n+1≤j≤n+m) sur une surface d'une tête ;

le guidage, par l'intermédiaire d'un atténuateur optique i, de la lumière d'une longueur d'onde A de chaque source de lumière à chaque sonde de source de lumière i, à une transmittance ai ;

la transmission, par l'intermédiaire d'un atténuateur optique j, de la lumière de la longueur d'onde A détectée avec chaque sonde de détecteur j à une unité de données de mesure, à une transmittance aj ;

le traitement de données détectées reçues par l'unité de données de mesure pour détecter une activité de fonction cérébrale à partir d'un changement d'absorbance de la lumière mesurée sur la base des propriétés d'absorption spectrale d'oxyhémoglobine et de désoxyhémoglobine dans N canaux k (où 1≤k≤N) comprenant chacun une des sondes de source de lumière i et une des sondes de détecteur j, le procédé comprenant en outre :

une étape de fixation de toutes les sondes de source de lumière i et de toutes les sondes de détecteur j à la surface d'une tête, et de réglage des transmittances de tous les atténuateurs optiques à 1, de réglage des intensités de toutes les sources lumineuses à une intensité lumineuse maximale dans une plage de rayonnement sûre, et de détermination d'une intensité lumineuse effective de chaque sonde de source de lumière i ainsi que d'une intensité lumineuse effective minimale et d'une intensité lumineuse effective maximale de celles-ci ;

une étape de changement de la transmittance ai de chaque atténuateur optique i du côté de la sonde de source de lumière à une valeur obtenue en divisant l'intensité d'éclairage effective minimale par l'intensité d'éclairage effective de chaque sonde de source de lumière i, nivelant ainsi l'intensité d'éclairage effective ;

une étape d'augmentation des intensités de toutes les sources lumineuses par W fois (où W=l'intensité d'éclairage effective maximale/l'efficacité d'incidence effective minimale), et de détermination du taux de détection effectif de chaque sonde de détecteur j ainsi que du taux de détection effectif minimal de celle-ci ; et

une étape de nivellement du taux de détection effectif en changeant la transmittance aj de chaque atténuateur optique j du côté de la sonde de détecteur à une valeur obtenue en divisant le taux de détection effectif minimal par le taux de détection effectif de chaque sonde de détecteur j, égalisant ainsi à l'avance la dispersion de bruit de détecteur d'oxyhémoglobine et la dispersion de bruit de détecteur de désoxyhémoglobine parmi tous les canaux k.


 




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