Effects of low-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus on movement in Parkinson's disease.
ABSTRACT Excessive synchronization of basal ganglia neural activity at low frequencies is considered a hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, few studies have unambiguously linked this activity to movement impairment through direct stimulation of basal ganglia targets at low frequency. Furthermore, these studies have varied in their methodology and findings, so it remains unclear whether stimulation at any or all frequencies < or = 20 Hz impairs movement and if so, whether effects are identical across this broad frequency band. To address these issues, 18 PD patients chronically implanted with deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes in both subthalamic nuclei were stimulated bilaterally at 5, 10 and 20 Hz after overnight withdrawal of their medication and the effects of the DBS on a finger tapping task were compared to performance without DBS (0 Hz). Tapping rate decreased at 5 and 20 Hz compared to 0 Hz (by 11.8+/-4.9%, p=0.022 and 7.4+/-2.6%, p=0.009, respectively) on those sides with relatively preserved baseline task performance. Moreover, the coefficient of variation of tap intervals increased at 5 and 10 Hz compared to 0 Hz (by 70.4+/-35.8%, p=0.038 and 81.5+/-48.2%, p=0.043, respectively). These data suggest that the susceptibility of basal ganglia networks to the effects of excessive synchronization may be elevated across a broad low-frequency band in parkinsonian patients, although the nature of the consequent motor impairment may depend on the precise frequencies at which synchronization occurs.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Unconstrained cell proliferation is characteristic of tumors. It is caused by the functional disorders of proteins that constitute the cell cycle mechanism. The cell cycle is controlled by cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. Many reports have proved, in cancers, that cyclins, cyclin-dependent kinases, and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors are out of control. Cyclin A is a protein that regulates critical transition of the cell cycle. The expression of cyclin A in meningiomas by immunohistochemical method was investigated. Furthermore, the correlation among cyclin A expression, clinical course, and proliferative potential were also evaluated. Seventy-seven meningiomas were studied. The mean cyclin A labeling indices were as follows: benign meningiomas, 1.01% +/- 0.62%; atypical meningiomas, 4.23% +/- 1.82%; and anaplastic meningiomas, 7.72% +/- 0.88%. Analyses of variance showed that significant differences existed between tumor grades for cyclin A labeling indices. A linear positive correlation between the cyclin A labeling index and bromodeoxyuridine labeling index was observed. The multivariate analysis using Cox's hazards model showed a high cyclin A labeling index (>3%) was a significant risk factor for recurrence. A high Ki-67 labeling index (>5%) and high tumor grade (World Health Organization grade II, III) were also significant risk factors for recurrence. These results suggested that the evaluation of cyclin A expression in meningiomas provides significant clinical information, especially as an independent prognostic indicator.Applied immunohistochemistry & molecular morphology: AIMM / official publication of the Society for Applied Immunohistochemistry 03/2003; 11(1):9-14. · 1.63 Impact Factor
Article: Neural synchrony in brain disorders: relevance for cognitive dysfunctions and pathophysiology.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Following the discovery of context-dependent synchronization of oscillatory neuronal responses in the visual system, novel methods of time series analysis have been developed for the examination of task- and performance-related oscillatory activity and its synchronization. Studies employing these advanced techniques revealed that synchronization of oscillatory responses in the beta- and gamma-band is involved in a variety of cognitive functions, such as perceptual grouping, attention-dependent stimulus selection, routing of signals across distributed cortical networks, sensory-motor integration, working memory, and perceptual awareness. Here, we review evidence that certain brain disorders, such as schizophrenia, epilepsy, autism, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's are associated with abnormal neural synchronization. The data suggest close correlations between abnormalities in neuronal synchronization and cognitive dysfunctions, emphasizing the importance of temporal coordination. Thus, focused search for abnormalities in temporal patterning may be of considerable clinical relevance.Neuron 11/2006; 52(1):155-68. · 14.74 Impact Factor
Effects of low-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus
on movement in Parkinson's disease
Alexandre Eusebioa,1, Chiung Chu Chena,b,1, Chin Song Lub, Shih Tseng Leec, Chon Haw
Tsaid, Patricia Limousina,e, Marwan Hariza,e, and Peter Browna⁎
aSobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology, 8-11 Queen
Square, WC1N 3BG London, UK.
bDepartment of Neurology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and University, Taipei, Taiwan.
cDepartment of Neurosurgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and University, Taipei, Taiwan.
dDepartment of Neurology, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan.
eUnit of Functional Neurosurgery, Institute of Neurology, London, UK.
Excessive synchronization of basal ganglia neural activity at low frequencies is considered a hallmark
of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, few studies have unambiguously linked this activity to
movement impairment through direct stimulation of basal ganglia targets at low frequency.
Furthermore, these studies have varied in their methodology and findings, so it remains unclear
whether stimulation at any or all frequencies ≤ 20 Hz impairs movement and if so, whether effects
are identical across this broad frequency band. To address these issues, 18 PD patients chronically
implanted with deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes in both subthalamic nuclei were stimulated
bilaterally at 5, 10 and 20 Hz after overnight withdrawal of their medication and the effects of the
DBS on a finger tapping task were compared to performance without DBS (0 Hz). Tapping rate
decreased at 5 and 20 Hz compared to 0 Hz (by 11.8 ± 4.9%, p = 0.022 and 7.4 ± 2.6%, p = 0.009,
respectively) on those sides with relatively preserved baseline task performance. Moreover, the
coefficient of variation of tap intervals increased at 5 and 10 Hz compared to 0 Hz (by 70.4 ± 35.8%,
p = 0.038 and 81.5 ± 48.2%, p = 0.043, respectively). These data suggest that the susceptibility of
basal ganglia networks to the effects of excessive synchronization may be elevated across a broad
low-frequency band in parkinsonian patients, although the nature of the consequent motor
impairment may depend on the precise frequencies at which synchronization occurs.
Synchronization; Basal ganglia; Parkinson's disease; DBS
© 2007 Elsevier Inc.
⁎Corresponding author. email@example.com.
1The first two co-authors contributed equally to this study.
This document was posted here by permission of the publisher. At the time of deposit, it included all changes made during peer review,
copyediting, and publishing. The U.S. National Library of Medicine is responsible for all links within the document and for incorporating
any publisher-supplied amendments or retractions issued subsequently. The published journal article, guaranteed to be such by Elsevier,
is available for free, on ScienceDirect.
Sponsored document from
Published as: Exp Neurol. 2008 January ; 209(1): 125–130.
There is extensive evidence that neuronal activity is abnormally synchronized at low
frequencies in Parkinson's disease (PD) and in animal models of parkinsonism (reviewed in
Gatev et al., 2006; Hammond et al., 2007; Uhlhaas and Singer, 2006). However, this does not,
by itself, prove that pathological synchrony is mechanistically important in parkinsonism. More
persuasive evidence would be the impairment of voluntary movement by the artificial
synchronization of neural activity in the basal ganglia. Such synchronization is possible by
stimulating deep brain electrodes implanted for the treatment of PD at low frequencies, rather
than at those frequencies above 100 Hz used for therapeutic benefit. Electrical stimulation of
surgical targets like the subthalamic nucleus (STN) simultaneously activates neural elements
in the vicinity of the electrode and this synchronous activity is then propagated onwards, as
evinced by evoked pallidal (Brown et al., 2004; Hashimoto et al., 2003), cortical (MacKinnon
et al., 2005) and muscular activity (Ashby et al., 1999, 2001).
So far there have been several reports of the impairment of movement by stimulation of the
STN at frequencies ≤ 20 Hz in patients with PD. Moro et al. (2002) and Chen et al. (2007)
studied finger tapping during DBS at 5 Hz and 20 Hz, respectively, and found this to be slowed.
However, Timmermann et al. (2004), using the motor United Parkinson's Disease rating scale
(UPDRS), failed to confirm a worsening during DBS at 5 and 20 Hz, but did find increased
bradykinesia with stimulation at 10 Hz. Another study evaluated tapping performance over
several frequencies within the same patients, but only found weak effects that involved relative
rather than absolute impairments in motor performance, superimposed upon an overall
tendency for movement to improve with increasing stimulation frequency (Fogelson et al.,
2005). Accordingly, it is unclear whether stimulation at any or all frequencies ≤ 20 Hz impairs
movement and if so, whether effects are identical across this broad frequency band. The issue
is an important one, as although spontaneous synchrony tends to occur at frequencies centered
around 20 Hz in PD (Hammond et al., 2007), it occurs at rather lower frequencies in the 1-
methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6,-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) primate model of PD (Goldberg et al.,
2004; Raz et al., 1996, 2000).
Here we contrast the effects of STN stimulation and thereby extrinsically imposed
synchronization at a number of frequencies ≤ 20 Hz, to establish whether all such frequencies
impair movement and, if so, whether they impair movement in the same way. To this end we
studied performance in a simple finger tapping task, as this is objective and correlates with
motor impairment (Giovannoni et al., 1999; Rabey et al., 2002), and considered changes in
task execution according to baseline performance (Chen et al., 2006a).
Materials and methods
Patients and surgery
Twenty patients participated with informed consent and the permission of the local ethics
committees (5 females, mean age 59.5 ± 1.4 years; mean disease duration 13.5 ± 1.0 years).
Their clinical details are summarized in Table 1. Fourteen of these patients had also been
recorded at least 6 months previously in a different paradigm involving stimulation at 20 Hz,
50 Hz and 130 Hz (Chen et al., 2007). Implantation of bilateral STN DBS electrodes was
performed in all subjects for treatment of Parkinson's disease at least 6 months prior to study
(mean 34.7 ± 5.9 months). The DBS electrode used was model 3389 (Medtronic Neurological
Division, Minneapolis, USA) with four platinum–iridium cylindrical surfaces (1.27 mm
diameter and 1.5 mm length) and a centre-to-centre separation of 2 mm. Contact 0 was the
most caudal and contact 3 was the most rostral. The intended coordinates at the tip of contact
0 were 10–12 mm from the midline, 0–2 mm behind the midcommissural point and 3–5 mm
below the anterior commissural–posterior commissural line. Adjustments to the intended
Eusebio et al.Page 2
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coordinates were made in accordance with the direct visualization of STN in individual
stereotactic MRI (Hariz et al., 2003) and, in the patients operated in Taiwan (n = 7), the results
of microelectrode recordings. Correct placement of the DBS electrodes in the region of the
STN was further supported by:  effective intra-operative macrostimulation;  post-
operative T2-weighted MRI compatible with the placement of at least one electrode contact in
the STN region;  significant improvement in UPDRS motor score during chronic DBS off
medication (22.7 ± 3.0) compared to UPDRS off medication with stimulator switched off
(52.6 ± 4.8; p < 0.00001, paired t-test). One patient was excluded due to the absence of
significant improvement in UPDRS motor score during chronic DBS and another one due to
missing clinical data.
All patients were assessed after overnight withdrawal of antiparkinsonian medication, although
the long action of many of the drugs used to treat PD meant that patients may still have been
partially treated when assessed. They were studied when the stimulator was switched off and
during bilateral STN stimulation at 5 Hz, 10 Hz and 20 Hz. The stimulation types were assessed
in pseudo-randomized order across patients, as was the presentation order of trials within a
stimulation type. Stimulation contacts, amplitude and pulse duration were the same as utilized
for therapeutic high frequency stimulation in each subject (see Table 1). There was no evidence
of capsular spread during stimulation, as determined by clinical examination. Patients were
not informed of the stimulation type. We did not stimulate one side at a time to avoid possible
functional compensation by the non-stimulated side. We waited 20 min after changing between
conditions before testing. This is sufficient time to elicit about 75% of DBS effects (Temperli
et al., 2003).
The task was repetitive depression of a keyboard key as fast as possible by rapid alternating
flexion and extension of the index finger at the level of the metacarpophalangeal joint (Chen
et al., 2006a, 2007). Tapping was performed in two runs of 30 s, separated by ∼ 30-s rest and
each hand tested separately (giving four runs per condition). Data from one side were rejected
as these were collected contralateral to a previous unilateral pallidotomy (case 18 in Table 1).
The number of taps made with the index finger in 30 s was recorded and the run from each
pair with the best performance selected for analysis, as this was less likely to be affected by
fatigue, or the effects of impaired arousal/concentration.
The results of the tapping task in patients were analyzed according to their baseline performance
(e.g. without stimulation). The lower limit of normal baseline performance was obtained by
testing ten healthy age matched control subjects (20 sides, 4 males, mean age 57 years, range
52–64 years) using the same tapping task. The mean tapping rate in this control group was
162 taps/30 s. The lower limit of the normal range (e.g. mean − [2 × standard deviation]) in
this control group was 127 taps per 30 s. The 35 tapping sides studied in the 18 patients were
accordingly divided into those with baseline performance within normal limits (n = 17; the
mean tapping performance across this group, 157 taps/30 s, was still lower than the mean
tapping performance in healthy subjects) and those with baseline tapping rates lower than
normal limits (n = 18; mean tapping performance 58 taps/30 s). The rationale behind this
approach was to select those sides (with baseline performance within normal limits) in which
any deleterious effects of DBS would not be overshadowed by the beneficial effects of DBS-
induced suppression of spontaneous pathological activity or limited by floor effects due to
major baseline impairment (Chen et al., 2006a, 2007). Four subjects had sides distributed across
the two groups of differing baseline tapping performance. Tapping rates and coefficients of
Eusebio et al.Page 3
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variation were normally distributed (one-sample Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests, p > 0.05).
Repeated-measures ANOVAs with within-subjects simple contrasts (comparing different
frequencies of stimulation to no stimulation) were performed in SPSS (SPSS for Windows
version 11, SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). Mauchly's test was used to determine the sphericity
of the data entered in the ANOVAs, and where data were non-spherical Greenhouse–Geisser
corrections applied. Means ± standard error of the means are presented in the text.
Low-frequency stimulation had no reliable clinical effect and did not consistently induce
tremor, mobile dyskinesia, or dystonic posturing. Four patients experienced dystonic postures
during the experiment and one had increased tremor. However, these effects were seen for
overlapping stimulation frequencies. We divided the tapping sides into two groups according
to whether or not tapping performance off DBS was within normal limits established on 20
sides in 10 healthy age-matched subjects (see Materials and methods). ANOVA of tapping
scores with factors FREQUENCY (four levels: 0, 5, 10 and 20 Hz) and BASELINE TAPPING
PERFORMANCE (two levels: within normal limits and less than normal limits) demonstrated
a within-subjects interaction between FREQUENCY and BASELINE TAPPING
PERFORMANCE (F[3,48] = 4.224, p = 0.01). Data were further analyzed with separate
ANOVAs in each baseline tapping performance group. In those patients with baseline tapping
performance within normal limits, ANOVA with the factor FREQUENCY confirmed that the
latter was a significant main effect (F[3,48] = 3.777, p = 0.016). Within-subjects contrasts
indicated that tapping during 5 and 20 Hz stimulation was worse than during no stimulation
(F[1,16] = 6.385, p = 0.022 and F[1,16] =8.793, p = 0.009, respectively). The average
deterioration in tapping rate during 5 and 20 Hz stimulation compared to no stimulation (0 Hz)
in this group was 11.8 ± 4.9% and 7.4 ± 2.6%, respectively (Fig. 1). There was a trend towards
a decreased tapping performance at 10 Hz compared to 0 Hz (F[1,16] = 3.578, p = 0.077). There
was no effect of FREQUENCY in patients with baseline tapping performance below normal
limits (ANOVA, F[1.9,32.8] = 2.202, p = 0.128).
We also analyzed the variability in tapping as measured by the coefficient of variation (CV)
of the time intervals between successive taps on those sides with baseline tapping performance
within normal limits. ANOVA with the factor FREQUENCY (four levels: 0, 5, 10 and 20 Hz)
revealed a significant effect of FREQUENCY (F[3,48] = 3.408, p = 0.025). Within-subjects
contrasts indicated that the CV increased during 5 and 10 Hz stimulation compared with no
stimulation (F[1,16] = 5.144, p = 0.038 and F[1,16] = 4.852, p = 0.043, respectively). The average
increase of the CV during 5 and 10 Hz stimulation compared to 0 Hz in this group was
70.4 ± 35.8% and 81.5 ± 48.2%, respectively (Fig. 2). There was no difference between the
CV at 20 Hz compared to 0 Hz (F[1,16] = 0.871, p = 0.365). There was, however, a trend for
the CV with 5 Hz stimulation to exceed that with 20 Hz stimulation (t-test; p = 0.059).
We have shown that STN DBS at a variety of low frequencies can slow distal upper limb
movements in PD patients with relatively preserved baseline tapping function at the time of
study. The effect was present with DBS at 5 Hz and 20 Hz in line with previous studies (Chen
et al., 2007; Fogelson et al., 2005; Moro et al., 2002), and there was a trend towards a similar
effect with stimulation at 10 Hz (Timmermann et al., 2004). These effects were apparent when
tapping sides were separately analyzed according to whether the level of baseline performance
was within or outside of normal limits, in line with previous studies suggesting that deleterious
effects of DBS are more evident on those sides with relatively preserved baseline performance
(Chen et al., 2006a, 2007). The effect was not apparent during stimulation on those sides with
impaired baseline performance, either because of confounding, albeit mild, suppressive effects
Eusebio et al.Page 4
Published as: Exp Neurol. 2008 January ; 209(1): 125–130.
of low-frequency DBS on spontaneous pathological oscillations or because of floor effects
(Chen et al., 2007; Fogelson et al., 2005).
In principle, then, the susceptibility of basal ganglia–cortical loops to the effects of excessive
synchronization may be elevated across a broad low-frequency band in parkinsonian patients.
Accordingly, the relatively different frequency ranges of pathological synchronization in
patients and MPTP-treated primates (Hammond et al., 2007) may be more indicative of the
resonance properties of basal ganglia networks in the different situations, rather than any
fundamental differences in the mechanism of bradykinesia. However, it must be stressed that
this is a generalization, and although synchronization at different frequencies may conspire to
disturb movement, there may still be subtle differences in the way movement is impaired. This
is brought out by the differential effects of low-frequency stimulation on the variation in
tapping intervals, evident in differences in the coefficient of variation and hence independent
of any differences in tapping rate. Only DBS at 5 and 10 Hz increased temporal variability,
whereas DBS at 20 Hz selectively decreased tapping rates without changing tapping variability.
The implication is that basal ganglia networks are involved in processing related to the temporal
patterning and regularity of movement and that these circuits may be particularly susceptible
to disruption by pathological synchronization at frequencies ≤ 10 Hz. In support of basal
ganglia involvement in the temporal patterning of movement, PD patients have increased
temporal variability in finger tapping (Giovannoni et al., 1999; Shimoyama et al., 1990), and
temporal variability in motor performance is a very early feature of Huntington's disease
(Hinton et al., 2007). Indeed, Flowers considered increased variability of movement in both
time and space to be one of the core components of motor dysfunction in PD, along with a
basic slowness of movement, and a difficulty in initiating and maintaining movement (Sheridan
et al., 1987). This variability in motor performance may also relate to the phenomenon of
freezing. No overt freezing episodes were observed during tapping in our patients, but an
increased variability of stride has been shown in PD patients experiencing freezing of gait
independent of frank freezing episodes (Hausdorff et al., 2003).
However, a primary disturbance of temporal patterning is not the only potential interpretation
for the increased variability seen during stimulation at 5 Hz and 10 Hz. Tremor was not seen
during low-frequency stimulation (except in one patient), in agreement with Timmermann et
al. (2004), nor were there any obvious and consistent dyskinesias. Nevertheless, it is possible
that synchronization at frequencies ≤ 10 Hz induced subtle hyperkinesias that led to increased
temporal variability across taps. A previous case report describes dyskinetic movements
induced by STN DBS at 5 Hz (Liu et al., 2002a), and there is increasing evidence that excessive
synchronization over 4–10 Hz within basal ganglia circuits may be related to both levodopa-
induced dyskinesias in PD (Alonso-Frech et al., 2006) and mobile elements of dystonia (Chen
et al., 2006b; Liu et al., 2002b; Silberstein et al., 2003). Relevant in this regard, a recent study
demonstrated an increased variability of speech rate in patients treated with l-DOPA and
suggested that this effect was related to dyskinesia (De Letter et al., 2006). Variability of swing
movement was also observed in the gait of dyskinetic CP children (Abel et al., 2003).
In summary, our results provide further evidence that DBS of the STN over a relatively broad
band of low frequencies can impair movement, in line with other more circumstantial evidence
of an association between low-frequency synchrony in basal ganglia–cortical loops and altered
movement (see recent reviews by Gatev et al., 2006; Uhlhaas and Singer, 2006; Hammond et
al., 2007). The present results also raise the important possibility that the detailed profile of
motor abnormalities evident in extrapyramidal diseases depends to some extent on the precise
frequencies at which pathological synchronization occurs. Indeed, some differences in the
details of the effects of pathological synchrony at different frequencies might be anticipated,
Eusebio et al. Page 5
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