[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives
The aim of this study was to investigate the deep brain stimulation (DBS) electric field distribution in proton-density MRI scans visualizing the globus pallidus internus (GPi) of patients with Gilles de la Tourette syndrome (GTS), along with its relation to the anatomy.Methods
Patient-specific brain tissue models (n = 7) with bilateral DBS electrodes in the GPi were set up using the finite element method in five patients who had undergone stereotactic proton-density MRI-guided surgery and showed variable improvement with DBS. Simulations (n = 27) of the electric field were performed and the results visualized on the respective preoperative stereotactic MRI scans. The mean electric field volumes (n = 81) within the 0.1, 0.15, and 0.2 V/mm isosurfaces were calculated and compared with the anatomy.ResultsVisualization of the simulated electric field confirmed that the anteromedial limbic GPi was the main stimulated target for four of the patients and the posteromedial sensorimotor GPi for one. Larger volumes extended asymmetrically, with parts of fields stretching into the lamina between GPi and globus pallidus externus and into the internal capsule. There was a high correlation (r = 0.994, n = 54) between volumes and brain sides, but with a systematic shift toward the right side, especially for the larger volumes. Simulations with homogeneous tissue models showed no differences.Conclusions
Patient-specific DBS electric field simulations in the GPi as visualized on proton-density MR scans can be implemented in patients with GTS. Visualization of electric fields together with stereotactic thin-slice MRI can provide further support when predicting anatomical structures possibly influenced by DBS in this complex disorder.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tremor is a cardinal feature of Parkinson's disease and essential tremor, the two most common movement disorders. Yet, the mechanisms underlying tremor generation remain largely unknown. We hypothesized that driving deep brain stimulation electrodes at a frequency closely matching the patient's own tremor frequency should interact with neural activity responsible for tremor, and that the effect of stimulation on tremor should reveal the role of different deep brain stimulation targets in tremor generation. Moreover, tremor responses to stimulation might reveal pathophysiological differences between parkinsonian and essential tremor circuits. Accordingly, we stimulated 15 patients with Parkinson's disease with either thalamic or subthalamic electrodes (13 male and two female patients, age: 50-77 years) and 10 patients with essential tremor with thalamic electrodes (nine male and one female patients, age: 34-74 years). Stimulation at near-to tremor frequency entrained tremor in all three patient groups (ventrolateral thalamic stimulation in Parkinson's disease, P = 0.0078, subthalamic stimulation in Parkinson's disease, P = 0.0312; ventrolateral thalamic stimulation in essential tremor, P = 0.0137; two-tailed paired Wilcoxon signed-rank tests). However, only ventrolateral thalamic stimulation in essential tremor modulated postural tremor amplitude according to the timing of stimulation pulses with respect to the tremor cycle (e.g. P = 0.0002 for tremor amplification, two-tailed Wilcoxon rank sum test). Parkinsonian rest and essential postural tremor severity (i.e. tremor amplitude) differed in their relative tolerance to spontaneous changes in tremor frequency when stimulation was not applied. Specifically, the amplitude of parkinsonian rest tremor remained unchanged despite spontaneous changes in tremor frequency, whereas that of essential postural tremor reduced when tremor frequency departed from median values. Based on these results we conclude that parkinsonian rest tremor is driven by a neural network, which includes the subthalamic nucleus and ventrolateral thalamus and has broad frequency-amplitude tolerance. We propose that it is this tolerance to changes in tremor frequency that dictates that parkinsonian rest tremor may be significantly entrained by low frequency stimulation without stimulation timing-dependent amplitude modulation. In contrast, the circuit influenced by low frequency thalamic stimulation in essential tremor has a narrower frequency-amplitude tolerance so that tremor entrainment through extrinsic driving is necessarily accompanied by amplitude modulation. Such differences in parkinsonian rest and essential tremor will be important in selecting future strategies for closed loop deep brain stimulation for tremor control.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: It has been suggested that all patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) who undergo functional neurosurgery have difficulties in slowing down in high conflict tasks. However, it is unclear whether concomitant dopaminergic medication is responsible for this impairment. Objective: To assess perceptual decision making in PD patients with bilateral deep brain stimulation. Methods: We tested 27 PD patients with bilateral deep brain stimulation on a task in which participants had to filter task relevant information from background noise. Thirteen patients were treated with Levodopa monotherapy and 14 patients were treated with Levodopa in combination with a dopamine agonist. Results were compared to healthy matched controls. Results: We found that all PD patients who were treated with a dopamine agonist made faster decisions than controls and PD patients who were not exposed to a dopamine agonist. Further, all patients made more errors than controls, but there was no difference between the two patient groups. Conclusions: Our results suggest that dopamine agonist therapy rather than deep brain stimulation is likely responsible for the inability to slow down in high conflict situations in PD. These results further strengthen the need to reduce dopamine agonists in PD patients undergoing functional neurosurgery in order to prevent them making inadvisable decisions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a powerful treatment option for movement disorders, including severe generalised dystonia. After several years of treatment, cases have been reported in which DBS has been stopped without any deterioration in clinical benefit. This might indicate that DBS can restore function in some cases. The mechanism of DBS induced clinical retention effects has been addressed before. Here, the question we asked was if such clinical stability is reflected at the underlying physiology level or whether there is indication to believe that a stand-still of symptoms might be at risk because of neurophysiological instability. We recorded patients with pre-intervention life-threatening or severe genetic dystonia with long lasting clinical benefit when turned off DBS. Despite clinical stability, our physiological studies revealed large changes in the excitability of excitatory and inhibitory motor circuits in the cortex, which exceed normal fluctuation. This discrepancy between instability in the motor network physiology caused by removal of DBS and clinical stability alerts as it potentially indicates a risk to fail and cause symptoms to return.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) represents a well-established treatment for patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD) insufficiently controlled with medical therapies. This study presents the long-term outcomes of patients with PD treated with STN-DBS using an MRI-guided/MRI-verified approach without microelectrode recording.
A cohort of 41 patients who underwent STN-DBS were followed for a minimum period of 5 years, with a subgroup of 12 patients being followed for 8-11 years. Motor status was evaluated using part III of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS-III), in on- and off-medication/on-stimulation conditions. Preoperative and postoperative assessments further included activities of daily living (UPDRS-II), motor complications (UPDRS-IV), neuropsychological and speech assessments, as well as evaluation of quality of life. Active contacts localisation was calculated and compared with clinical outcomes.
STN-DBS significantly improved the off-medication UPDRS-III scores, compared with baseline. However, UPDRS scores increased over time after DBS. Dyskinesias, motor fluctuations and demands in dopaminergic medication remained significantly reduced in the long term. Conversely, UPDRS-III on-medication scores deteriorated at 5 and 8 years, mostly driven by axial and bradykinesia subscores. Quality of life, as well as depression and anxiety scores, did not significantly change at long-term follow-up compared with baseline. In our series, severe cognitive decline was observed in 17.1% and 16.7% of the patients at 5 and 8 years respectively.
Our data confirm that STN-DBS, using an MRI-guided/MRI-verified technique, remains an effective treatment for motor 'off' symptoms of PD in the long term with low morbidity.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 04/2014; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Data from an open label randomised controlled trial have suggested possible advantages on both motor and non-motor measures in patients with Parkinson's disease following 12 months exposure to exenatide. Objective: Continued follow up of these same patients was performed to investigate whether these possible advantages persisted in the prolonged absence of this medication. Methods: All participants from an open label, randomised controlled trial of exenatide as a treatment for Parkinson's disease, were invited for a further follow up assessment at the UCL Institute of Neurology. This visit included all 20 individuals who had previously completed twelve months exposure to exenatide 10ug bd and the 24 individuals who had acted as randomised controls. Motor severity of PD was compared after overnight withdrawal of conventional PD medication using blinded video assessment of the MDS-UPDRS, together with several non-motor tests. This assessment was thus 24 months after their original baseline visit, i.e. 12 months after cessation of exenatide. Results: Compared to the control group of patients, patients previously exposed to exenatide had an advantage of 5.6 points (95% CI, 2.2-9.0; p = 0.002) using blinded video rating of the MDS-UPDRS part 3 motor subscale. There was also a difference of 5.3 points; (95% CI, 9.3-1.4; p = 0.006) between the 2 groups on the Mattis Dementia Rating scale. Conclusions: While these data must still not be interpreted as evidence of neuroprotection, they nevertheless provide strong encouragement for the further study of this drug as a potential disease modifying agent in Parkinson's disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Depleted of dopamine, the dynamics of the parkinsonian brain impact on both 'action' and 'resting' motor behaviour. Deep brain stimulation has become an established means of managing these symptoms, although its mechanisms of action remain unclear. Non-invasive characterizations of induced brain responses, and the effective connectivity underlying them, generally appeals to dynamic causal modelling of neuroimaging data. When the brain is at rest, however, this sort of characterization has been limited to correlations (functional connectivity). In this work, we model the 'effective' connectivity underlying low frequency blood oxygen level-dependent fluctuations in the resting Parkinsonian motor network-disclosing the distributed effects of deep brain stimulation on cortico-subcortical connections. Specifically, we show that subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation modulates all the major components of the motor cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical loop, including the cortico-striatal, thalamo-cortical, direct and indirect basal ganglia pathways, and the hyperdirect subthalamic nucleus projections. The strength of effective subthalamic nucleus afferents and efferents were reduced by stimulation, whereas cortico-striatal, thalamo-cortical and direct pathways were strengthened. Remarkably, regression analysis revealed that the hyperdirect, direct, and basal ganglia afferents to the subthalamic nucleus predicted clinical status and therapeutic response to deep brain stimulation; however, suppression of the sensitivity of the subthalamic nucleus to its hyperdirect afferents by deep brain stimulation may subvert the clinical efficacy of deep brain stimulation. Our findings highlight the distributed effects of stimulation on the resting motor network and provide a framework for analysing effective connectivity in resting state functional MRI with strong a priori hypotheses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adaptive deep brain stimulation (aDBS) has the potential to improve the treatment of Parkinson's disease by optimizing stimulation in real time according to fluctuating disease and medication state. In the present realization of adaptive DBS we record and stimulate from the DBS electrodes implanted in the subthalamic nucleus of patients with Parkinson's disease in the early post-operative period. Local field potentials are analogue filtered between 3 and 47 Hz before being passed to a data acquisition unit where they are digitally filtered again around the patient specific beta peak, rectified and smoothed to give an online reading of the beta amplitude. A threshold for beta amplitude is set heuristically, which, if crossed, passes a trigger signal to the stimulator. The stimulator then ramps up stimulation to a pre-determined clinically effective voltage over 250 msec and continues to stimulate until the beta amplitude again falls down below threshold. Stimulation continues in this manner with brief episodes of ramped DBS during periods of heightened beta power. Clinical efficacy is assessed after a minimum period of stabilization (5 min) through the unblinded and blinded video assessment of motor function using a selection of scores from the Unified Parkinson's Rating Scale (UPDRS). Recent work has demonstrated a reduction in power consumption with aDBS as well as an improvement in clinical scores compared to conventional DBS. Chronic aDBS could now be trialed in Parkinsonism.
Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. 01/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Recent advances in stem cell technologies have rekindled an interest in the use of cell replacement strategies for patients with Parkinson disease. This study reports the very long-term clinical outcomes of fetal cell transplantation in 2 patients with Parkinson disease. Such long-term follow-up data can usefully inform on the potential efficacy of this approach, as well as the design of trials for its further evaluation. OBSERVATIONS Two patients received intrastriatal grafts of human fetal ventral mesencephalic tissue, rich in dopaminergic neuroblasts, as restorative treatment for their Parkinson disease. To evaluate the very long-term efficacy of the grafts, clinical assessments were performed 18 and 15 years posttransplantation. Motor improvements gained gradually over the first postoperative years were sustained up to 18 years posttransplantation, while both patients have discontinued, and remained free of any, pharmacological dopaminergic therapy. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE The results from these 2 cases indicate that dopaminergic cell transplantation can offer very long-term symptomatic relief in patients with Parkinson disease and provide proof-of-concept support for future clinical trials using fetal or stem cell therapies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stereotactic functional neurosurgery on basal ganglia has a long history and the pioneers are mostly men. We aimed at finding out if there were women who have contributed pioneering work in this field.
The literature was searched to identify women who have been first to publish innovative papers related to human basal ganglia surgery.
Six women fulfilling our criteria were found: Marion Smith, a British neuropathologist, made unique observations on stereotactic lesions of basal ganglia and thalamus on autopsied brains, and the lesions' relation to the reported clinical outcome. Natalia Bechtereva, a Russian neurophysiologist, pioneered the technique of therapeutic chronic deep brain stimulation to treat various brain disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD). Denise Albe-Fessard, a French neurophysiologist, pioneered the technique of microelectrode recording (MER) in stereotactic functional neurosurgery. Gunvor Kullberg, a Swedish neurosurgeon, contributed in early CT imaging as well as early functional imaging of stereotactic lesions in PD and psychiatric patients. Hilda Molina, a Cuban neurosurgeon, established the Centro Internacional de Restauración Neurológica (CIREN) and pioneered there MER-guided transplant surgery in PD patients. Veerle Vandewalle, a Belgian neurosurgeon, pioneered in 1999 deep brain stimulation (DBS) for Tourette Syndrome.
Although men constitute the great majority of neurosurgeons, neurologists and other neuro-specialists who have made groundbreaking contributions in basal ganglia surgery, there are women who have made equally important and unique contributions to the field. The principal two techniques used today in functional stereotactic neurosurgery, MER and DBS, have once upon a time been pioneered by women.
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders 11/2013; · 3.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myoclonic jerks are sudden shock-like involuntary movements, either manifesting as a brief contraction of a group of muscles (positive) or cessation of muscle activity (negative), driven by aberrant activity in one of the cortex, subcortical regions, brainstem or spinal cord. Its aetiology is variable and can occur physiologically, in a primary myoclonic syndrome (myoclonus-dystonia), or as part of an epilepsy (Progressive myoclonic epilepsy) or neurodegenerative syndrome (Alzheimer's disease, multiple systems atrophy). Myoclonus can also occur secondary to hypoxic brain injury either in an acute (myoclonic status epilepticus) or a chronic form, eponymously titled Lance-Adams syndrome (LAS). LAS is characterised by a non-progressive generalised myoclonus with added seizures and ataxia. There is no curative management strategy, only symptomatic relief. A multidisciplinary approach involving medical, physiotherapy, speech and occupational therapy achieves the best holistic outcomes for patients. Case studies suggest certain antiepileptic agents may alleviate symptoms, but combinations are often required, and the most effective options have sedative side effects. A subset of cases have marked alcohol responsiveness that can lead to dependence. A number of experimental treatment options have been proposed including deep brain stimulation (DBS) and sodium oxybate, a sodium salt of gamma-Hydroxybutyrate. In what follows, a patient with an eleven year history of the LAS is presented and the experimental therapeutics explored, concluding with a recent trial of sodium oxybate. Sodium oxybate was well tolerated and produced improvements in the patient's symptoms and perceived disability. This case highlights the difficulties of managing chronic myoclonic conditions and suggests sodium oxybate may be a useful treatment option in these patients.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 11/2013; 84(11):e2. · 4.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the effect of pallidal deep brain stimulation (GPi-DBS) in dystonia on cognition, mood, and quality of life and also assessed if DYT1 gene status influenced cognitive outcome following GPi-DBS. Fourteen patients with primary generalized dystonia (PGD) were assessed, measuring their estimated premorbid and current IQ, memory for words and faces, and working memory, language, executive function, and sustained attention, one month before and one year or more after surgery. Changes in mood and behaviour and quality of life were also assessed. There was a significant improvement of dystonia with GPi-DBS (69 % improvement in Burke-Fahn-Marsden score, p < 0.0001). Performance on five cognitive tests either improved or declined at post-surgical follow-up. Calculation of a reliable change index suggested that deterioration in sustained attention on the PASAT was the only reliable change (worse after surgery) in cognition with GPi-DBS. DYT1 gene status did not influence cognitive outcome following GPi-DBS. Depression, anxiety and apathy were not significantly altered, and ratings of health status on the EQ5D remained unchanged. In our sample, GPi-DBS was only associated with an isolated deficit on a test of sustained attention, confirming that GPi-DBS in PGD is clinically effective and safe, without adverse effects on the main domains of cognitive function. The dissociation between GPi-DBS improving dystonia, but not having a significant positive impact on the patients' QoL, warrants further investigation.
Journal of Neurology 11/2013; · 3.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High frequency deep brain stimulation of the thalamus can help ameliorate severe essential tremor. Here we explore how the efficacy, efficiency and selectivity of thalamic deep brain stimulation might be improved in this condition. We started from the hypothesis that the effects of electrical stimulation on essential tremor may be phase dependent, and that, in particular, there are tremor phases at which stimuli preferentially lead to a reduction in the amplitude of tremor. The latter could be exploited to improve deep brain stimulation, particularly if tremor suppression could be reinforced by cumulative effects. Accordingly, we stimulated 10 patients with essential tremor and thalamic electrodes, while recording tremor amplitude and phase. Stimulation near the postural tremor frequency entrained tremor. Tremor amplitude was also modulated depending on the phase at which stimulation pulses were delivered in the tremor cycle. Stimuli in one half of the tremor cycle reduced median tremor amplitude by ∼10%, while those in the opposite half of the tremor cycle increased tremor amplitude by a similar amount. At optimal phase alignment tremor suppression reached 27%. Moreover, tremor amplitude showed a non-linear increase in the degree of suppression with successive stimuli; tremor suppression was increased threefold if a stimulus was preceded by four stimuli with a similar phase relationship with respect to the tremor, suggesting cumulative, possibly plastic, effects. The present results pave the way for a stimulation system that tracks tremor phase to control when deep brain stimulation pulses are delivered to treat essential tremor. This would allow treatment effects to be maximized by focussing stimulation on the optimal phase for suppression and by ensuring that this is repeated over many cycles so as to harness cumulative effects. Such a system might potentially achieve tremor control with far less power demand and greater specificity than current high frequency stimulation approaches, and may lower the risk for tolerance and rebound.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is thought to play a central role in modulating responses during conflict. Computational models have suggested that the location of the STN in the basal ganglia, as well as its numerous connections to conflict-related cortical structures, allows it to be ideally situated to act as a global inhibitor during conflict. Additionally, recent behavioral experiments have shown that deep brain stimulation to the STN results in impulsivity during high-conflict situations. However, the precise mechanisms that mediate the "hold-your-horses" function of the STN remain unclear. We recorded from deep brain stimulation electrodes implanted bilaterally in the STN of 13 human subjects with Parkinson's disease while they performed a flanker task. The incongruent trials with the shortest reaction times showed no behavioral or electrophysiological differences from congruent trials, suggesting that the distracter stimuli were successfully ignored. In these trials, cue-locked STN theta band activity demonstrated phase alignment across trials and was followed by a periresponse increase in theta power. In contrast, incongruent trials with longer reaction times demonstrated a relative reduction in theta phase alignment followed by higher theta power. Theta phase alignment negatively correlated with subject reaction time, and theta power positively correlated with trial reaction time. Thus, when conflicting stimuli are not properly ignored, disruption of STN theta phase alignment may help operationalize the hold-your-horses role of the nucleus, whereas later increases in the amplitude of theta oscillations may help overcome this function.
Journal of Neuroscience 09/2013; 33(37):14758-66. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dementia is a major cause of disability amongst the elderly and represents a serious global health issue. Current treatments for dementia are limited; at best they provide inadequate symptomatic relief. In contrast, there are a plethora of approaches that provide symptomatic relief for abnormalities of movement including surgical approaches. Deep brain stimulation has been used successfully to directly alter processing in neural networks and thereby improve movement functions. Here we describe the anatomy, intrinsic organization and connectivity of the cholinergic nucleus basalis of Meynert, a basal forebrain structure implicated in cognitive functions including memory, attention, arousal and perception. A significant body of evidence suggests that degeneration of the nucleus and its cortical projections underlies the cognitive decline seen in dementia. We review this evidence and postulate that deep brain stimulation to this nucleus may be able to improve specific cognitive functions. This could represent a novel treatment strategy for some dementias in carefully selected individuals. Controlled trials of deep brain stimulation of the nucleus basalis of Meynert for Parkinson's disease dementia and Alzheimer's disease are required to evaluate potential efficacy and the mechanisms of possible cognitive changes.