Pedunculopontine nucleus stimulation induces monocular oscillopsia.

Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France and INSERM U836, Grenoble Institut des Neurosciences, Grenoble, France.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry (Impact Factor: 4.87). 03/2009; 80(2):228-31. DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.2008.146472
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Two patients with Parkinson's disease with pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) stimulation for gait impairments reported "trembling vision" during the setting of the electrical parameters, although there was no clinically observable abnormal eye movement. Oculomotor recordings revealed frequency locked voltage dependent vertical or oblique movements of the eye ipsilateral to the active contact, suggesting current spreading to the mesencephalic oculomotor fibres. These results emphasise the difficulty of stimulating this mesencephalic region.

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    ABSTRACT: The pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) is a component of the locomotor mesencephalic area. In recent years it has been considered a new surgical site for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in movement disorders. Here, using objective kinematic and spatio-temporal gait analysis, we report the impact of low frequency (40 Hz) unilateral PPTg DBS in ten patients suffering from idiopathic Parkinson’s disease with drug-resistant gait and axial disabilities. Patients were studied for gait initiation (GI) and steady-state level walking (LW) under residual drug therapy. In the LW study, a straight walking task was employed. Patients were compared with healthy age-matched controls. The analysis revealed that GI, cadence, stride length and left pelvic tilt range of motion (ROM) improved under stimulation. The duration of the S1 and S2 sub-phases of the anticipatory postural adjustment phase of GI was not affected by stimulation, however a significant improvement was observed in the S1 sub-phase in both the backward shift of centre of pressure and peak velocity. Speed during the swing phase, step width, stance duration, right pelvic tilt ROM phase, right and left hip flexion-extension ROM, and right and left knee ROM were not modified. Overall, the results show that unilateral PPTg DBS may affect GI and specific spatio-temporal and kinematic parameters during unconstrained walking on a straight trajectory, thus providing further support to the importance of the PPTg in the modulation of gait in neurodegenerative disorders.
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    ABSTRACT: Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a neurodegenerative disease due to mitochondrial dysfunction. The PSP syndrome presents generally with gait disorder, Parkinsonism, ophthalmoparesis and cognitive alteration. Few reports exist on deep brain stimulation (DBS) in patients with atypical Parkinsonism. The aim of our study was to evaluate further the potential role of DBS in PSP.
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    ABSTRACT: Improvement of gait disorders following pedunculopontine nucleus area stimulation in patients with Parkinson's disease has previously been reported and led us to propose this surgical treatment to patients who progressively developed severe gait disorders and freezing despite optimal dopaminergic drug treatment and subthalamic nucleus stimulation. The outcome of our prospective study on the first six patients was somewhat mitigated, as freezing of gait and falls related to freezing were improved by low frequency electrical stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus area in some, but not all, patients. Here, we report the speech data prospectively collected in these patients with Parkinson's disease. Indeed, because subthalamic nucleus surgery may lead to speech impairment and a worsening of dysarthria in some patients with Parkinson's disease, we felt it was important to precisely examine any possible modulations of speech for a novel target for deep brain stimulation. Our results suggested a trend towards speech degradation related to the pedunculopontine nucleus area surgery (off stimulation) for aero-phonatory control (maximum phonation time), phono-articulatory coordination (oral diadochokinesis) and speech intelligibility. Possibly, the observed speech degradation may also be linked to the clinical characteristics of the group of patients. The influence of pedunculopontine nucleus area stimulation per se was more complex, depending on the nature of the task: it had a deleterious effect on maximum phonation time and oral diadochokinesis, and mixed effects on speech intelligibility. Whereas levodopa intake and subthalamic nucleus stimulation alone had no and positive effects on speech dimensions, respectively, a negative interaction between the two treatments was observed both before and after pedunculopontine nucleus area surgery. This combination effect did not seem to be modulated by pedunculopontine nucleus area stimulation. Although limited in our group of patients, speech impairment following pedunculopontine nucleus area stimulation is a possible outcome that should be considered before undertaking such surgery. Deleterious effects could be dependent on electrode insertion in this brainstem structure, more than on current spread to nearby structures involved in speech control. The effect of deep brain stimulation on speech in patients with Parkinson's disease remains a challenging and exploratory research area.
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