[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: There is solid evidence of the long term efficacy of deep brain stimulation of the globus pallidus pars interna in the treatment of generalised dystonia. However there are conflicting reports concerning whether certain subgroups gain more benefit from treatment than others. We analysed the results of a series of 60 cases to evaluate the effects of previously proposed prognostic factors including dystonia aetiology, dystonia phenotype, age at onset of dystonia, and duration of dystonia prior to treatment.
60 patients with medically intractable primary or secondary generalised dystonia were treated with deep brain stimulation of the globus pallidus pars interna during the period 1999-2010 at the Department of Neurosurgery in Oxford, UK. Patients were assessed using the Burke-Fahn-Marsden (BFM) Dystonia Rating Scale prior to surgery, 6 months after implantation and thereafter at 1 year, 2 years and 5 years follow-up.
The group showed mean improvements in the BFM severity and disability scores of 43% and 27%, respectively, by 6 months, and this was sustained. The results in 11 patients with DYT gene mutations were significantly better than in non-genetic primary cases. The results in 12 patients with secondary dystonia were not as good as those seen in non-genetic primary cases but there remained a significant beneficial effect. Age of onset of dystonia, duration of disease prior to surgery, and myoclonic versus torsional disease phenotype had no significant effect on outcome.
The aetiology of dystonia was the sole factor predicting a better or poorer outcome from globus pallidus pars interna stimulation in this series of patients with generalised dystonia. However even the secondary cases that responded the least well had a substantial reduction in BFM scores compared with preoperative clinical assessments, and these patients should still be considered for deep brain stimulation.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 04/2014; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Targeted electric deep brain stimulation in midbrain nuclei in humans alters cardiovascular parameters, presumably by modulating autonomic and baroreflex function. Baroreflex modulation of sympathetic outflow is crucial for cardiovascular regulation and is hypothesized to occur at 2 distinct brain locations. The aim of this study was to evaluate sympathetic outflow in humans with deep brain stimulating electrodes during ON and OFF stimulation of specific midbrain nuclei known to regulate cardiovascular function. Multiunit muscle sympathetic nerve activity was recorded in 17 patients undergoing deep brain stimulation for treatment of chronic neuropathic pain (n=7) and Parkinson disease (n=10). Sympathetic outflow was recorded during ON and OFF stimulation. Arterial blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory frequency were monitored during the recording session, and spontaneous vasomotor and cardiac baroreflex sensitivity were assessed. Head-up tilt testing was performed separately in the patients with Parkinson disease postoperatively. Stimulation of the dorsal most part of the subthalamic nucleus and ventrolateral periaqueductal gray resulted in improved vasomotor baroreflex sensitivity, decreased burst frequency and blood pressure, unchanged burst amplitude distribution, and a reduced fall in blood pressure after tilt. Stimulation of the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray resulted in a shift in burst amplitude distribution toward larger amplitudes, decreased spontaneous beat-to-beat blood pressure variability, and unchanged burst frequency, baroreflex sensitivity, and blood pressure. Our results indicate that a differentiated regulation of sympathetic outflow occurs in the subthalamic nucleus and periaqueductal gray. These results may have implications in our understanding of abnormal sympathetic discharge in cardiovascular disease and provide an opportunity for therapeutic targeting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Positive clinical outcomes are now well established for deep brain stimulation, but little is known about the effects of long-term deep brain stimulation on brain structural and functional connectivity. Here, we used the rare opportunity to acquire pre- and postoperative diffusion tensor imaging in a patient undergoing deep brain stimulation in bilateral subthalamic nuclei for Parkinson's Disease. This allowed us to analyse the differences in structural connectivity before and after deep brain stimulation. Further, a computational model of spontaneous brain activity was used to estimate the changes in functional connectivity arising from the specific changes in structural connectivity.
We found significant localised structural changes as a result of long-term deep brain stimulation. These changes were found in sensory-motor, prefrontal/limbic, and olfactory brain regions which are known to be affected in Parkinson's Disease. The nature of these changes was an increase of nodal efficiency in most areas and a decrease of nodal efficiency in the precentral sensory-motor area. Importantly, the computational model clearly shows the impact of deep brain stimulation-induced structural alterations on functional brain changes, which is to shift the neural dynamics back towards a healthy regime. The results demonstrate that deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's Disease leads to a topological reorganisation towards healthy bifurcation of the functional networks measured in controls, which suggests a potential neural mechanism for the alleviation of symptoms.
The findings suggest that long-term deep brain stimulation has not only restorative effects on the structural connectivity, but also affects the functional connectivity at a global level. Overall, our results support causal changes in human neural plasticity after long-term deep brain stimulation and may help to identify the underlying mechanisms of deep brain stimulation.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e86496. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deep brain stimulation is a neurosurgical technique that can be used to alleviate symptoms in a growing number of neurological conditions through modulating activity within brain networks. Certain applications of deep brain stimulation are relevant for the management of symptoms in multiple sclerosis. In this paper we discuss existing treatment options for tremor, facial pain and urinary dysfunction in multiple sclerosis and discuss evidence to support the potential use of deep brain stimulation for these symptoms.
Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders. 01/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bilateral subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease improves limb function. Unpublished observations from our clinic noted that some subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation patients complain of post-operative dyspnea. Therefore, we designed a prospective, longitudinal study to characterize this in greater depth. We used specific questionnaires to assess dyspnea in patients with electrodes in the subthalamic nucleus (n=13) or ventral intermediate thalamus (n=7). St. George's Hospital Respiratory Questionnaire symptom subscale scores were greater in subthalamic nucleus patients (median=18.60, interquartile range=40.80) than ventral intermediate thalamus patients (median = 0.00, interquartile range=15.38) at greater than 6 months post-operatively (p<0.05). Several of the subthalamic nucleus patients exhibited functional impairments as judged by the St. George's Hospital Respiratory Questionnaire impact subscale, the Medical Research Council Dyspnoea Scale and the Dyspnoea-12 questionnaire. There was no correlation between limb function ratings, stimulation parameters, or precise electrode position and dyspnea severity. We have shown, for the first time, that dyspnea can be a side-effect of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation, and that this dyspnea may be highly disabling.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The advent of multimaterial 3D printers allows the creation of neurosurgical models of a more realistic nature, mimicking real tissues. The authors used the latest generation of 3D printer to create a model, with an inbuilt pathological entity, of varying consistency and density. Using this model the authors were able to take trainees through the basic steps, from navigation and planning of skin flap to performing initial steps in a craniotomy and simple tumor excision. As the technology advances, models of this nature may be able to supplement the training of neurosurgeons in a simulated operating theater environment, thus improving the training experience.
Journal of Neurosurgery 12/2013; · 3.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) of the periventricular/periaqueductal grey (PVG/PAG) area and sensory thalamus (ST) can reduce pain intensity in patients with neuropathic pain. However, little is known about its impact on quality of life, emotional well-being, and cognition. This study followed up 18 patients who had received DBS for neuropathic pain. Each participant had previously undergone psychometric evaluation of each of the above areas as part of a routine pre-surgical neuropsychological assessment. Commensurate measures were employed at a follow-up assessment at least 6 months post-surgery. DBS significantly improved mood, anxiety, and aspects of quality of life. Improvements correlated with reduced pain severity. However, the sample continued to show impairments in most areas when compared against normative data published on non-clinical samples. There was little change in general cognitive functioning, aside from deterioration in spatial working memory. However, improvements in pain severity were associated with less improvement (and even deterioration) on measures of executive cognitive functioning. Improvements in emotional well-being also correlated with changes in cognition. These results suggest that DBS of the PVG/PAG and/or ST improves quality of life and emotional well-being in sufferers, although there is some indication of executive dysfunction particularly amongst those reporting greatest pain alleviation.
This article examines the neuropsychological outcomes of deep brain stimulation surgery as a treatment for neuropathic pain. This intervention was found to improve pain severity, emotional well-being, and quality of life, although such benefits may be accompanied by reduced ability on tasks measuring executive functioning.
The journal of pain: official journal of the American Pain Society 12/2013; · 3.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the efficacy of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the treatment of tremor resulting from acquired brain injury (ABI).
A series of eight consecutive patients with post-ABI tremor were treated with DBS of the ventro-oralis posterior (VOP)/zona incerta (ZI) region, and subsequently underwent blinded assessments using Bain's tremor severity scale.
VOP/ZI DBS produced a mean reduction in tremor severity of 80.75% based on Bain's tremor severity scale, with significant reductions in all five component tremor subscores: rest, postural, kinetic, proximal and distal. No adverse neurological complications were reported, although one patient experienced exacerbation of pre-existing gait ataxia.
VOP/ZI stimulation is demonstrated here to be an effective and safe approach for the treatment of post-ABI tremor in the largest series published at the time of writing.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 12/2013; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pain perception can be altered by activity in the periaqueductal gray (PAG). The PAG can decrease the incoming nociceptive signals at the level of the spinal dorsal horn, but it is not clear whether the PAG can also affect the sensory thalamus, ventral posterolateral and ventral posteromedial thalamic nuclei, to modulate pain. However, the PAG and the thalamus have direct connections with each other; so we postulated that the PAG may also modulate pain by inhibiting the sensory nuclei in the thalamus, and that these may also reciprocally influence the PAG. Here, by analyzing the local field potentials recorded from the sensory thalamus and the PAG in chronic pain patients with deep brain stimulation electrodes, we show that PAG stimulation inhibited the sensory thalamus with decreasing thalamic delta, theta, alpha and beta power, and sensory thalamus stimulation excited the PAG with increasing PAG delta and theta power. We demonstrate that the PAG and the sensory thalamus interact reciprocally at short latency, which may be related to pain modulation.
Experimental Brain Research 11/2013; · 2.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent publications have demonstrated that deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease still exerts beneficial effects on tremor, rigidity, and bradykinesia for up to 10 years after implantation of the stimulator. However with the progression of Parkinson's disease, features such as cognitive decline or "freezing" become prominent, and the presence of an implanted and functioning deep brain stimulator can impose a profound burden of care on the clinical team and family. The authors describe their experience in treating 4 patients who underwent removal of the implanted device due to either progressive dementia requiring full-time nursing or due to infection, and who subsequently underwent a unilateral pallidotomy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is strong evidence to suggest that data recorded from magnetoencephalography (MEG) follows a non-Gaussian distribution. However, existing standard methods for source localisation model the data using only second order statistics, and therefore usethe inherent assumption of a Gaussian distribution. In this paper, we present a new general method for non-Gaussian source estimation of stationary signals for localising brain activity from MEG data. By providing a Bayesian formulation for MEG source localisation, we show that the source probability density function (pdf), which is not necessarily Gaussian, can be estimated using multivariate kernel density estimators. In the case of Gaussian data, the solution of the method is equivalent to that ofwidely used linearly constrained minimum variance (LCMV) beamformer. The method is also extended to handle data with highly correlated sources using the marginal distribution of the estimated joint distribution, which, in the case of Gaussian measurements, corresponds to the null-beamformer. The proposed non-Gaussian source localisation approach is shown to give better spatial estimates than the LCMV beamformer, both in simulations incorporating non-Gaussian signals, and in real MEG measurements of auditory and visual evoked responses, where the highly correlated sources are known to be difficult to estimate.
[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: Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) could potentially be used to interact with pathological brain signals to intervene and ameliorate their effects in disease states. Here, we provide proof-of-principle of this approach by using a BCI to interpret pathological brain activity in patients with advanced Parkinson disease (PD) and to use this feedback to control when therapeutic deep brain stimulation (DBS) is delivered. Our goal was to demonstrate that by personalizing and optimizing stimulation in real time, we could improve on both the efficacy and efficiency of conventional continuous DBS.
We tested BCI-controlled adaptive DBS (aDBS) of the subthalamic nucleus in 8 PD patients. Feedback was provided by processing of the local field potentials recorded directly from the stimulation electrodes. The results were compared to no stimulation, conventional continuous stimulation (cDBS), and random intermittent stimulation. Both unblinded and blinded clinical assessments of motor effect were performed using the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale.
Motor scores improved by 66% (unblinded) and 50% (blinded) during aDBS, which were 29% (p = 0.03) and 27% (p = 0.005) better than cDBS, respectively. These improvements were achieved with a 56% reduction in stimulation time compared to cDBS, and a corresponding reduction in energy requirements (p < 0.001). aDBS was also more effective than no stimulation and random intermittent stimulation.
BCI-controlled DBS is tractable and can be more efficient and efficacious than conventional continuous neuromodulation for PD. Ann Neurol 2013.
Annals of Neurology 07/2013; · 11.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The basal ganglia may play an important role in the control of motor scaling or effort. Recently local field potential (LFP) recordings from patients with deep brain stimulation electrodes in the basal ganglia have suggested that local increases in the synchronisation of neurons in the gamma frequency band may correlate with force or effort. Whether this feature uniquely codes for effort and whether such a coding mechanism holds true over a range of efforts is unclear. Here we investigated the relationship between frequency-specific oscillatory activities in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and manual grips made with different efforts. The latter were self-rated using the 10 level Borg scale ranging from 0 (no effort) to 10 (maximal effort). STN LFP activities were recorded in patients with Parkinson's Disease (PD) who had undergone functional surgery. Patients were studied while motor performance was improved by dopaminergic medication. In line with previous studies we observed power increase in the theta/alpha band (4-12 Hz), power suppression in the beta band (13-30 Hz) and power increase in the gamma band (55-90 Hz) and high frequency band (101-375 Hz) during voluntary grips. Beta suppression deepened, and then reached a floor level as effort increased. Conversely, gamma and high frequency power increases were enhanced during grips made with greater effort. Multiple regression models incorporating the four different spectral changes confirmed that the modulation of power in the beta band was the only independent predictor of effort during grips made with efforts rated < 5. In contrast, increases in gamma band activity were the only independent predictor of effort during grips made with efforts ≥ 5. Accordingly, the difference between power changes in the gamma and beta bands correlated with effort across all effort levels. These findings suggest complementary roles for changes in beta and gamma band activities in the STN in motor effort coding. The latter function is thought to be impaired in untreated PD where task-related reactivity in these two bands is deficient.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infant vocalisations are amongst the most biologically salient sounds in the environment and can draw the listener to the infant rapidly in both times of distress and joy. A region of the midbrain, the periaqueductal gray (PAG), has long been implicated in the control of urgent, survival-related behaviours. To test for PAG involvement in the processing of infant vocalisations, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs) from macroelectrodes implanted in this region in four adults who had undergone Deep Brain Stimulation. We found a significant difference occurring as early as 49ms from sound onset in activity recorded from the PAG in response to infant vocalisations compared to constructed control sounds and adult and animal affective vocalisations. This difference was not present in recordings from thalamic electrodes implanted in three of the patients. Time frequency analyses revealed distinct patterns of activity in the PAG for the three sound categories. These results suggest that human infant vocalisations can be discriminated from other emotional or acoustically similar sounds early in the auditory pathway. We propose that this specific, rapid activity in response to infant vocalisations may reflect the initiation of a state of heightened alertness necessary to instigate protective caregiving.
Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 05/2013; · 5.04 Impact Factor