[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tremor is one of the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Up to now, however, its pathophysiology remains poorly understood. Previously, oscillatory coupling at tremor frequency between the subthalamic nucleus und affected muscles was shown. In these studies, however, causality of coupling could not be demonstrated. Thus, we analyzed the statistical causality between intraoperatively recorded local field potentials in the subthalamic area and affected arm muscles during tremor episodes, using squared partial directed coherence, a recently developed causality measure. The analysis identified differential statistical causality patterns for Parkinson's disease patients of the akinetic-rigid subtype during tremor episodes (n=6) versus patients of the tremor-dominant subtype (n=8): for the akinetic-rigid Parkinson's disease patients significantly more cases of the subthalamic region were found to be statistically causal for electromyographic-tremor activity, a result in accordance with the standard basal ganglia model. In contrast, for the tremor-dominant patients, significantly more instances of electromyographic tremor activity turned out to be causal for activity of the subthalamic region. Furthermore, the clinical effective stimulation site coincided with the location of most input causalities from the periphery in seven out of eight tremor-dominant patients. The data suggest that, although tremor activity in tremor-dominant and akinetic-rigid Parkinson's disease patients was clinically similar, statistical causality between tremor electromyogram (EMG) and the subthalamic nucleus was fundamentally different. Therefore, we hypothesize different pathophysiological mechanisms to underlie the generation of tremor in the two subtypes of Parkinson's disease.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Implantation of electrodes in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for deep brain stimulation is a well-established method to ameliorate motor symptoms in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease (PD). This study investigated the pathophysiology of rest and postural tremor in PD. In 14 patients with PD, we recorded intraoperatively local field potentials (LFPs) in the STN (at different recording depths) and electromyographic signals (EMGs) of the contralateral forearm. Using coherence analysis we analysed tremor epochs both at rest and hold conditions in patients of the akinetic-rigid or of the tremor-dominant PD subtype. Data analysis revealed significant LFP-EMG coherence during periods of rest and postural tremor. However, strong differences between both tremor types were observed: local maxima (cluster) of rest and postural tremor did not match. Additionally, during rest tremor coherence occurred significantly more frequently at single tremor frequency than at double tremor frequency in tremor-dominant as well as in akinetic-rigid patients. In contrast, during postural tremor in patients with akinetic-rigid PD coherence was predominantly at double tremor frequency. The data suggest a specific topography of 'tremor clusters' for rest and postural tremor. Furthermore, we presume that the same tremor mechanisms exist in patients with tremor-dominant and akinetic-rigid PD, but to different degrees.
European Journal of Neuroscience 10/2010; 32(7):1202-14. · 3.75 Impact Factor