The pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD) has been related to excessive beta band oscillations in the basal ganglia. Recent recordings from the subthalamic nucleus of PD patients showed that beta oscillations show strong cross-frequency coupling with high-frequency oscillations (>200 Hz). However, little is known about the characteristics and functional properties of these oscillations. We studied the spatial distribution of high-frequency oscillations and their relation to PD motor symptoms. We included 10 PD patients in medication OFF who underwent implantation of deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes. Intraoperative five-channel microelectrode recordings were performed at 9 to 10 recording sites within the subthalamic nucleus and its immediate surroundings. We found a focal spatial distribution of high-frequency oscillations with highest power 2 mm below the dorsolateral border of the subthalamic nucleus. Within the subthalamic nucleus, power peaked slightly anterior to the DBS target site. In addition, contralateral akinesia/rigidity scores were negatively correlated with high-frequency oscillation power. Our results demonstrate a focal origin of high-frequency oscillations within the subthalamic nucleus and provide further evidence for their functional association with motor state.
Deep brain stimulation of the dorsal pallidum (globus pallidus, GP) is increasingly considered as a surgical therapeutic option in Huntington's disease (HD), but there is need to identify outcome measures useful for clinical trials. Computational models consider the GP to be part of a basal ganglia network involved in cognitive processes related to the control of actions. We examined behavioural and event-related potential (ERP) correlates of action control (i.e., error monitoring) and evaluated the effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS). We did this using a standard flanker paradigm and evaluated error-related ERPs. Patients were recruited from a prospective pilot trial for pallidal DBS in HD (trial number NCT00902889). From the initial four patients with Huntington's chorea, two patients with chronic external dorsal pallidum stimulation were available for follow-up and able to perform the task. The results suggest that the external GP constitutes an important basal ganglia element not only for error processing and behavioural adaptation but for general response monitoring processes as well. Response monitoring functions were fully controllable by switching pallidal DBS stimulation on and off. When stimulation was switched off, no neurophysiological and behavioural signs of error and general performance monitoring, as reflected by the error-related negativity and post-error slowing in reaction times were evident. The modulation of response monitoring processes by GP-DBS reflects a side effect of efforts to alleviate motor symptoms in HD. From a clinical neurological perspective, the results suggest that DBS in the external GP segment can be regarded as a potentially beneficial treatment with respect to cognitive functions.
Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, although highly effective for the treatment of motor impairment in Parkinson's disease (PD), can induce speech deterioration in a subgroup of patients. The aim of the current study was to survey (1) if there are distinctive stimulation effects on the different parameters of voice and speech and (2) if there is a special pattern of preexisting speech abnormalities indicating a risk for further worsening under stimulation.
Electrophysiological studies suggest that rest tremor in Parkinsons disease is associated with an alteration of oscillatory activity. Although it is well known that tremor depends on cortico-muscular coupling, it is unclear whether synchronization within and between brain areas is specifically related to the presence and severity of tremor. To tackle this longstanding issue, we took advantage of naturally occurring spontaneous tremor fluctuations and investigated cerebral synchronization in the presence and absence of rest tremor. We simultaneously recorded local field potentials from the subthalamic nucleus, the magnetoencephalogram and the electromyogram of forearm muscles in 11 patients with Parkinsons disease (all male, age: 52-74 years). Recordings took place the day after surgery for deep brain stimulation, after withdrawal of anti-parkinsonian medication. We selected epochs containing spontaneous rest tremor and tremor-free epochs, respectively, and compared power and coherence between subthalamic nucleus, cortex and muscle across conditions. Tremor-associated changes in cerebro-muscular coherence were localized by Dynamic Imaging of Coherent Sources. Subsequently, cortico-cortical coupling was analysed by computation of the imaginary part of coherency, a coupling measure insensitive to volume conduction. After tremor onset, local field potential power increased at individual tremor frequency and cortical power decreased in the beta band (13-30 Hz). Sensor level subthalamic nucleus-cortex, cortico-muscular and subthalamic nucleus-muscle coherence increased during tremor specifically at tremor frequency. The increase in subthalamic nucleus-cortex coherence correlated with the increase in electromyogram power. On the source level, we observed tremor-associated increases in cortico-muscular coherence in primary motor cortex, premotor cortex and posterior parietal cortex contralateral to the tremulous limb. Analysis of the imaginary part of coherency revealed tremor-dependent coupling between these cortical areas at tremor frequency and double tremor frequency. Our findings demonstrate a direct relationship between the synchronization of cerebral oscillations and tremor manifestation. Furthermore, they suggest the feasibility of tremor detection based on local field potentials and might thus become relevant for the design of closed-loop stimulation systems.
Expectation contributes to placebo and nocebo responses in Parkinsons disease (PD). Subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) improves proximal more than distal movements whereas it impairs executive cognitive function such as verbal fluency (VF). We investigated how expectation modulates the pattern of motor improvement in STN-DBS and its interaction with VF. In a within-subject-design, expectation of 24 hypokinetic-rigid PD patients regarding the impact of STN-DBS on motor symptoms was manipulated by verbal suggestions (positive [placebo], negative [nocebo], neutral [control]). Patients participated with (MedON) and without (MedOFF) antiparkinsonian medication. Motor function was assessed by Unified Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale and quantitative kinematic analysis of proximal alternating hand and distal finger tapping. VF was quantified by lexical and semantic tests. In MedOFF, expectation significantly affected proximal but not distal movements resulting in better performance in the placebo than in the nocebo condition. Placebo responders with improvement of ?25% were characterized by a trend for impaired lexical VF. These results indicate that positive motor expectations exert both motor placebo and cognitive nocebo responses by further enhancing the STN-DBS-effect on proximal movements and by impairing VF. The placebo response on motor performance resembles the clinically known STN-DBS-effect with stronger improvement in proximal than distal movements. The nocebo response on VF is likely due to implicit learning mechanisms associated with an expectation-induced placebo response on motor performance.
Parkinsons disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder owing to loss of dopaminergic cells. Akinesia - one of the core symptoms of PD - is associated with exaggerated oscillations at beta frequency (13-30 Hz) within the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Thus, enhanced oscillations below 30 Hz are assumed to represent a pathophysiological marker of PD. However, recent data suggest that OFF medication exaggerated beta oscillations within basal ganglia (BG) cortical networks may serve for the compensation of BG dysfunctions. The STN is functionally connected to mesial prefrontal areas like the supplementary motor area (SMA). But, it is still not fully understood how enhanced beta oscillations within the BG exert dominance over the primary motor cortex (M1) thereby yielding motor impairment. The present study, therefore, investigates the effect of dopaminergic state on SMA-M1 functional connectivity using Magnetoencephalography (MEG). MEG data were recorded in 7 patients suffering from PD with preponderance of akinesia during isometric contraction of the right forearm and during rest. Coherence as a measure of functional connectivity between M1 and SMA was calculated OFF and ON medication and correlated with the motor part of the Unified Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS III) and with disease duration. During rest a significant positive correlation between disease duration and SMA-M1 coherence was found ON but not OFF medication. Conversely, during isometric contraction SMA-M1 coherence and UPDRS III were inversely correlated OFF but not ON medication explaining more than 80% of variance. The results favor the hypothesis that OFF medication exaggerated cortical coherence at beta frequency represents a compensatory mechanism rather than a pathophysiological marker per se.
Expectation contributes to placebo and nocebo responses in Parkinsons disease (PD). While there is evidence for expectation-induced modulations of bradykinesia, little is known about the impact of expectation on resting tremor. Subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) improves cardinal PD motor symptoms including tremor whereas impairment of verbal fluency (VF) has been observed as a potential side-effect. Here we investigated how expectation modulates the effect of STN-DBS on resting tremor and its interaction with VF. In a within-subject-design, expectation of 24 tremor-dominant PD patients regarding the impact of STN-DBS on motor symptoms was manipulated by verbal suggestions (positive [placebo], negative [nocebo], neutral [control]). Patients participated with (MedON) and without (MedOFF) antiparkinsonian medication. Resting tremor was recorded by accelerometry and bradykinesia of finger tapping and diadochokinesia were assessed by a 3D ultrasound motion detection system. VF was quantified by lexical and semantic tests. In a subgroup of patients, the effect of STN-DBS on tremor was modulated by expectation, i.e. tremor decreased (placebo response) or increased (nocebo response) by at least 10% as compared to the control condition while no significant effect was observed for the overall group. Interestingly, nocebo responders in MedON were additionally characterized by significant impairment in semantic verbal fluency. In contrast, bradykinesia was not affected by expectation. These results indicate that the therapeutic effect of STN-DBS on tremor can be modulated by expectation in a subgroup of patients and suggests that tremor is also among the parkinsonian symptoms responsive to placebo and nocebo interventions. While positive expectations enhanced the effect of STN-DBS by further decreasing the magnitude of tremor, negative expectations counteracted the therapeutic effect and at the same time exacerbated a side-effect often associated with STN-DBS. The present findings underscore the potency of patients expectation and its relevance for therapeutic outcomes.
The mechanism and time course of emotional side effects of subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinsons disease are a matter for discussion. We report a 53-month follow-up of a patient with affective lability. Postoperative lesion plus bilateral stimulation strongly influenced mood in the first week in terms of laughing behavior, while voltage changes had only minor long-term impact up to 37 months on negative emotion, possibly caused by the right electrode stimulating the subthalamic nucleus and adjacent fiber tracts involving the internal capsule. Thus we conclude that affective lability can occur with different temporal dynamics of microlesion, and early and chronic stimulation.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) significantly improves quality of life (QoL) in PD. However, QoL fails to improve in a relevant proportion of patients. We studied clinical baseline and progression parameters associated with improvement in QoL after DBS. Data from a German randomized, controlled study comparing DBS (60 patients) with best medical treatment (59 patients) were analyzed. Changes in patients QoL were assessed using the Parkinsons Disease Questionnaire (PDQ-39) at baseline and at the 6-month follow-up. For the STN-DBS patients, the changes in PDQ-39 were correlated with predefined clinical preoperative and progression parameters. Scores for QoL improved after STN-DBS for 57% of the patients, and for 43% patients, they did not improve. Patients with improvement in QoL showed significantly higher cumulative daily "off" time. Changes in the PDQ-39 showed a significant positive correlation with the cumulative daily off time at baseline. Logistic regression analysis revealed that 1 additional hour off time at baseline increases the odds for improvement on PDQ-39 by a factor of 1.33 (odds ratio). In the postoperative course, changes in the PDQ-39 significantly correlated with the reduction of cumulative daily off time, an improvement on the UPDRS (UPDRS III off), and positive mood changes. Among the baseline parameters, the cumulative daily off time is the strongest predictor for improvement in disease-related QoL after DBS. Improvement in QoL after STN-DBS is also correlated with changes in motor functions and changes in depression and anxiety.
Stroke like episodes can occur by cortical compression due to changes in intracranial pressure. We report a patient after left hemicraniectomy who presented transient speech arrest after sleeping on the left side. We propose that mechanical compression of the left inferior or superior frontal gyrus led to this episode similar to a major mass effect due to an unprotected brain surface after hemicraniectomy.
In vivo molecular imaging of pre- and postsynaptic nigrostriatal neuronal degeneration and sympathetic cardiac innervation with SPECT is used to distinguish idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD) from atypical parkinsonian disorder (APD). However, the diagnostic accuracy of these imaging approaches as stand-alone procedures is often unsatisfying. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate to which extent diagnostic accuracy can be increased by their combined use together with a multidimensional statistical algorithm.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) significantly improves quality of life (QoL) in Parkinsons disease (PD). Dementia is considered as a contraindication for STN-DBS. However, no controlled study assessed the impact of STN-DBS on the QoL and motor outcome in PD patients with a borderline global cognitive impairment. We studied clinical baseline and progression parameters in a cohort of STN-DBS patients with a global cognitive score still in the non-demented range but scoring in the lowest quartile of the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (MDRS), a measure of global cognitive functioning. Data from a German randomised controlled study comparing DBS (60 patients) with best medical treatment (BMT, 59 patients) were analysed. Changes in patients QoL scores were assessed using the Parkinsons disease questionnaire (PDQ-39) at baseline and at the 6 months follow up. Patients were split into four groups according to their MDRS performance at baseline and these groups were compared in the context of motor outcome and QoL. Twelve out of sixty patients of the STN-DBS group scored in the lowest quartile of the MDRS (range between one hundred thirty and one hundred thirty seven points). An individual analysis revealed that 3 of 12 patients showed a clinical relevant improvement in QoL whereas the group statistics did not reveal any significant improvement in QoL measures after STN-DBS compared to the BMT group. Since this failure to improve in QoL cannot be explained by a failure to improve in motor functions, stimulation settings and psychiatric scales after STN-DBS, the failure to improve in QoL in patients with a borderline global cognitive score might be specifically related to lower cognitive functioning.
Timing in the range of seconds referred to as interval timing is crucial for cognitive operations and conscious time processing. According to recent models of interval timing basal ganglia (BG) oscillatory loops are involved in time interval recognition. Parkinso?s disease (PD) is a typical disease of the basal ganglia that shows distortions in interval timing. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a powerful treatment of PD which modulates motor and cognitive functions depending on stimulation frequency by affecting subcortical-cortical oscillatory loops. Thus, for the understanding of BG-involvement in interval timing it is of interest whether STN-DBS can modulate timing in a frequency dependent manner by interference with oscillatory time recognition processes. We examined production and reproduction of 5 and 15 second intervals and millisecond timing in a double blind, randomised, within-subject repeated-measures design of 12 PD-patients applying no, 10-Hz- and ? 130-Hz-STN-DBS compared to healthy controls. We found under(re-)production of the 15-second interval and a significant enhancement of this under(re-)production by 10-Hz-stimulation compared to no stimulation, ? 130-Hz-STN-DBS and controls. Milliseconds timing was not affected. We provide first evidence for a frequency-specific modulatory effect of STN-DBS on interval timing. Our results corroborate the involvement of BG in general and of the STN in particular in the cognitive representation of time intervals in the range of multiple seconds.
Dopaminergic treatments are associated with impulse control disorders such as pathological gambling in a subset of patients with Parkinsons Disease. While deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus has been reported to reduce symptoms of impulse control disorders in some Parkinsons Disease patients, little is known about its specific effects on gambling behaviour. In this experiment, we investigated the effects of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus on one of the central features of pathological gambling: the tendency to chase losses. Loss-chasing is associated with impaired control over gambling behaviour and it is one of the most salient features of pathological gambling as it presents in the clinic. Twenty two patients with advanced idiopathic Parkinsons Disease and chronically implanted subthalamic nucleus electrodes for deep brain stimulation completed a simple laboratory model of loss-chasing behaviour twice: once with and once without stimulation. Exploratory analysis indicated that deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus increased the value of losses chased by patients with Parkinsons Disease when shifting from off- to on-stimulation. These effects were not attributable to changes in state affect or to the motor impairments produced by the withdrawal of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus. The effects of the stimulation on the value of losses chased were more pronounced in female than in male patients and reduced in patients taking dopamine receptor agonists. Collectively, these results suggest that deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus can transiently alter the evaluation of accumulated losses during gambling episodes in idiopathic Parkinsons Disease.
Increasing evidence suggests that abnormal oscillatory activity in basal ganglia and cortex plays a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of Parkinsons disease. Recordings of local field potentials from subthalamic nucleus of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation have focused on oscillations occurring at frequencies below 100 Hz in the alpha, beta and gamma range and suggested that, in particular, an increase of beta band oscillations underlies slowing of movement in Parkinsons disease. Recent findings showing that the amplitude of high frequency oscillations (>200 Hz) couples with the phase of beta activity have raised the important question about the role of subthalamic high frequency oscillations in Parkinsons disease. To investigate functional characteristics and clinical relevance of high frequency oscillations, we recorded local field potentials from 18 subthalamic nuclei of 9 akinetic-rigid Parkinsonian patients with implanted deep brain stimulation electrodes and still externalised leads before and after intake of levodopa. We identified two distinct bands of high frequency oscillations, one centred around 250 Hz and another one around 350 Hz that show characteristic levodopa dependent amplitude and coupling behaviours. Administration of levodopa changed the power ratio between the two high frequency bands towards the component centred around 350 Hz in all 18 nuclei under study (p<10(-4)). Moreover, this power ratio correlated significantly with the Unified Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale hemibody akinesia/rigidity subscore (r=0.3618, p=0.015), but interestingly not with beta peak power (p=0.1) suggesting that levodopa induced changes in high frequency and beta oscillations are at least potentially independent of each other. Accordingly, a combined parameter composed of power ratio of high frequency oscillations and beta peak power significantly increased the correlation with the motor state (r=0.45, p=0.004). These results indicate that a shift from slower to faster frequencies of the spectrum greater than 200 Hz represents a prokinetic neurophysiological marker underlying levodopa induced motor improvement in Parkinsons disease.
The posterior subthalamic area (PSA), ventral to the intercommissural line (ICL) and the ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM), has been suggested as a promising target for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in patients suffering from essential tremor (ET). In this study the clinical benefit of VIM and PSA DBS on postural tremor suppression was systematically evaluated in a two step approach with a 3D ultrasound kinematic analysis tool.
Implantation of electrodes in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for deep brain stimulation is a well-established method to ameliorate motor symptoms in patients suffering from Parkinsons disease (PD). This study investigated the pathophysiology of rest and postural tremor in PD. In 14 patients with PD, we recorded intraoperatively local field potentials (LFPs) in the STN (at different recording depths) and electromyographic signals (EMGs) of the contralateral forearm. Using coherence analysis we analysed tremor epochs both at rest and hold conditions in patients of the akinetic-rigid or of the tremor-dominant PD subtype. Data analysis revealed significant LFP-EMG coherence during periods of rest and postural tremor. However, strong differences between both tremor types were observed: local maxima (cluster) of rest and postural tremor did not match. Additionally, during rest tremor coherence occurred significantly more frequently at single tremor frequency than at double tremor frequency in tremor-dominant as well as in akinetic-rigid patients. In contrast, during postural tremor in patients with akinetic-rigid PD coherence was predominantly at double tremor frequency. The data suggest a specific topography of tremor clusters for rest and postural tremor. Furthermore, we presume that the same tremor mechanisms exist in patients with tremor-dominant and akinetic-rigid PD, but to different degrees.
In patients with essential tremor (ET) already treated with chronic deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus ventralis intermedius (VIM) we investigated whether optimization of stimulation parameters could improve clinical tremor suppression, and whether this putative effect could be sustained over time. Twenty-three ET patients with VIM-DBS participated in the prospective study. All electrode contacts were tested systematically and stimulation parameters were optimized over the course of 2 days. Clinical tremor rating scale (TRS) was videotaped before, directly after the optimization and at a 10 weeks follow-up and evaluated blindly and independently by two clinicians. For stimulation effect optimization we increased the number of active contacts whereas the total charge applied to the tissue was kept constant. TRS hemi-body scores decreased significantly after optimization. At the 10 weeks follow-up, however, the improvement had faded and was no longer significant. The activities of daily living (ADL) remained significantly improved. Systematic optimization of VIM-DBS parameters in ET patients leads to a short term improvement which habituates over time. Our results provide further evidence for a tolerance effect in chronic VIM stimulation thereby suggesting that frequently alternating stimulation protocols should be tested in future studies of ET patients treated with VIM-DBS.
The current study aimed to investigate predictive markers for acute symptoms of depression and mania following deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery of the subthalamic nucleus for the treatment of motor symptoms in Parkinsons disease (PD). Fourteen patients with PD (7 males) were included in a prospective longitudinal study. Neuropsychological tests, psychopathology scales and tests of motor functions were administered at several time points prior to and after neurosurgery. Pre-existing psychopathological and motor symptoms predicted postoperative affective side effects of DBS surgery. As these can easily be assessed, they should be considered along with other selection criteria for DBS surgery.
A slight decline in cognitive functions and especially in executive functioning after deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the nucleus subthalamicus (STN) in patients with Parkinsons disease (PD) has been described. This study evaluated baseline parameters that contribute to a deterioration of cognitive functioning after DBS. We analyzed data from the neuropsychological protocol in a randomized controlled study comparing DBS with best medical treatment (BMT). Change scores were calculated for the cognitive domains "global cognitive functioning," "memory," "working memory," "attention," and "executive function." These domain-specific change scores were correlated with previously defined preoperative parameters. Compared with the BMT group (63 patients), the STN-DBS group (60 patients) showed a significant decline only in the domain executive function 6 months after DBS, which was significantly correlated with age, levodopa-equivalence dosage (LED) and axial subscore of the UPDRS in the off-medication state at baseline. Multiple regression analysis showed that these three factors explained, however, only about 23% of the variance. Patients with higher age, higher baseline LED, and/or higher axial subscore of the UPDRS at baseline have an increased risk for worsening of executive function after STN-DBS. High scores of these factors might reflect an advanced stage of disease progression. As these baseline factors explained the variance of the change score executive function only to a minor proportion, other factors including the surgical procedure, the exact placement of the electrode or postsurgical management might be more relevant for a decline in executive functioning after STN-DBS.
We report the 5 to 6 year follow-up of a multicenter study of bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) and globus pallidus internus (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS) in advanced Parkinsons disease (PD) patients. Thirty-five STN patients and 16 GPi patients were assessed at 5 to 6 years after DBS surgery. Primary outcome measure was the stimulation effect on the motor Unified Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) assessed with a prospective cross-over double-blind assessment without medications (stimulation was randomly switched on or off). Secondary outcomes were motor UPDRS changes with unblinded assessments in off- and on-medication states with and without stimulation, activities of daily living (ADL), anti-PD medications, and dyskinesias. In double-blind assessment, both STN and GPi DBS were significantly effective in improving the motor UPDRS scores (STN, P < 0.0001, 45.4%; GPi, P = 0.008, 20.0%) compared with off-stimulation, regardless of the sequence of stimulation. In open assessment, both STN- and GPi-DBS significantly improved the off-medication motor UPDRS when compared with before surgery (STN, P < 0.001, 50.5%; GPi, P = 0.002, 35.6%). Dyskinesias and ADL were significantly improved in both groups. Anti-PD medications were significantly reduced only in the STN group. Adverse events were more frequent in the STN group. These results confirm the long-term efficacy of STN and GPi DBS in advanced PD. Although the surgical targets were not randomized, there was a trend to a better outcome of motor signs in the STN-DBS patients and fewer adverse events in the GPi-DBS group.
Resting tremor in idiopathic Parkinsons disease (PD) is associated with an oscillatory network comprising cortical as well as subcortical brain areas. To shed light on the effect of levodopa on these network interactions, we investigated 10 patients with tremor-dominant PD and reanalyzed data in 11 healthy volunteers mimicking PD resting tremor. To this end, we recorded surface electromyograms of forearm muscles and neuromagnetic activity using a 122-channel whole-head magnetometer (MEG). Measurements were performed after overnight withdrawal of levodopa (OFF) and 30 min after oral application of fast-acting levodopa (ON). During OFF, patients showed the typical antagonistic resting tremor. Using the analysis tool Dynamic Imaging of Coherent Sources, we identified the oscillatory network associated with tremor comprising contralateral primary sensorimotor cortex (S1/M1), supplementary motor area (SMA), contralateral premotor cortex (PMC), thalamus, secondary somatosensory cortex (S2), posterior parietal cortex (PPC), and ipsilateral cerebellum oscillating at 8 to 10 Hz. After intake of levodopa, we found a significant decrease of cerebro-cerebral coupling between thalamus and motor cortical areas. Similarly, in healthy controls mimicking resting tremor, we found a significant decrease of functional interaction within a thalamus-premotor-motor network during rest. However, in patients with PD, decrease of functional interaction between thalamus and PMC was significantly stronger when compared with healthy controls. These data support the hypothesis that (1) in patients with PD the basal ganglia and motor cortical structures become more closely entrained and (2) levodopa is associated with normalization of the functional interaction between thalamus and motor cortical areas.
We simultaneously recorded local field potentials (LFPs) in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and surface electromyographic signals (EMGs) from the extensor and flexor muscles of the contralateral forearm in eight patients with idiopathic tremor-dominant Parkinsons disease (resting tremor) during the bilateral implantation of deep brain stimulation electrodes. Recordings were made at different heights (in 0.5- to 2.0-mm steps beginning outside the STN) using up to five concentrically configured macroelectrodes (2 mm apart). The patients were instructed to relax their contralateral forearm (rest condition). We analysed the coherence between tremor EMGs and STN LFPs, which showed significant tremor-associated coupling at single tremor and double tremor frequencies. Moreover, the EMG-LFP coherences were characterised by differences between antagonistic muscles (flexor, extensor) and by the spatial distribution of LFPs within the STN. Coherence at single and double tremor frequencies occurred significantly more frequently within STN than above STN (in the zona incerta). In this study, we were able to show that, within STN, tremor-associated LFP activity varied with spatial distribution and with the contralateral antagonistic forearm muscles. These findings suggest the existence of distribution- and muscle-specific tremor-associated LFP activity at different tremor frequencies and an organisation of tremor-related subloops within the STN.
Under rest condition, beta-band (13-30Hz) activity in patients with Parkinsons disease (PD) is prominent in the subthalamic nucleus (STN). However, the beta-band coupling between STN and muscle activity, its distribution and relation to motor symptoms remains unclear.
The use of multiple trajectories microelectrode recording (MER) during implantation of deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes into the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in patients with Parkinsons disease (PD) is discussed controversially because of possible risks and unclear benefits. The aim of the study is to investigate whether MER combined with intraoperative evaluation of stimulation effects improve clinical outcome in PD patients undergoing STN DBS surgery.
Corticobasal syndrome (CBS) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive and asymmetric manifestation of cortical and basal-ganglia symptoms of different origin. The spatio-temporal dynamics of cerebral atrophy in CBS is barely known. This study aimed to longitudinally quantify the individual dynamics of brain volume changes in patients with CBS as compared to healthy controls.
Different tremor entities such as Essential Tremor (ET) or tremor in Parkinsons disease (PD) can be ameliorated by the implantation of electrodes in the ventral thalamus for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). The exact neural mechanisms underlying this treatment, as well as the specific pathophysiology of the tremor in both diseases to date remain elusive. Since tremor-related local field potentials (LFP) have been shown to cluster with a somatotopic representation in the subthalamic nucleus, we here investigated the neurophysiological correlates of tremor in the ventral thalamus in ET and PD using power and coherence analysis. Local field potentials (LFPs) at different recording depths and surface electromyographic signals (EMGs) from the extensor and flexor muscles of the contralateral forearm were recorded simultaneously in twelve ET and five PD patients. Data analysis revealed individual electrophysiological patterns of LFP-EMG coherence at single and double tremor frequency for each patient. Patterns observed varied in their spatial distribution within the Ventral lateral posterior nucleus of the thalamus (VLp), revealing a specific topography of tremor clusters for PD and ET. The data strongly suggest that within VLp individual tremor-related electrophysiological signatures exist in ET and PD tremor.
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