Effects of unilateral pedunculopontine stimulation on electromyographic activation patterns during gait in individual patients with Parkinson’s disease
ABSTRACT In Parkinson’s disease (PD), the effects of deep brain stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPTg-DBS) on gait has
been object of international debate. Some evidence demonstrated that, in the late swing-early stance phase of gait cycle,
a reduced surface electromyographic activation (sEMG) of tibialis anterior (TA) is linked to the striatal dopamine deficiency
in PD patients. In the present study we report preliminary results on the effect of PPTg-DBS on electromyographic patterns
during gait in individual PD patients. To evaluate the sEMG amplitude of TA, the root mean square (RMS) of the TA burst in
late swing-early stance phase (RMS-A) was normalized as a percent of the RMS of the TA burst in late stance-early swing (RMS-B).
We studied three male patients in the following conditions: on PPTg-DBS/on l-dopa, on PPTg-DBS/off l-dopa, off PPTg-DBS/on l-dopa, off PPTg-DBS/off l-dopa. For each assessment the UPDRS III was filled in. We observed no difference between on PPTg-DBS/off l-dopa and off PPTg-DBS/off l-dopa in UPDRS III scores. In off PPTg-DBS/off l-dopa, patient A (right implant) showed absence of the right and left RMSA, respectively, in 80% and 83% of gait cycles. Patient
B (right implant) showed absence of the right RMS-A in 86% of cycles. RMS-A of the patient C (left implant) was bilaterally
normal. In on PPTg- DBS/off l-dopa, no patient showed reduced RMS-A. Although the very low number of subjects we evaluated, our observations suggest that
PPTg plays a role in modulating TA activation pattern during the steady state of gait.
KeywordsParkinson’s disease–Pedunculopontine nucleus–Gait–Deep brain stimulation