Activation of subthalamic neurons by contralateral subthalamic deep brain stimulation in parkinson disease

Academic Article


  • Multiple studies have shown bilateral improvement in motor symptoms in Parkinson disease (PD) following unilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and internal segment of the globus pallidus, yet the mechanism(s) underlying this phenomenon are poorly understood. We hypothesized that STN neuronal activity is altered by contralateral STN DBS. This hypothesis was tested intraoperatively in humans with advanced PD using microelectrode recordings of the STN during contralateral STN DBS. We demonstrate alterations in the discharge pattern of STN neurons in response to contralateral STN DBS including short latency, temporally precise, stimulation frequencyindependent responses consistent with antidromic activation. Furthermore, the total discharge frequency during contralateral high frequency stimulation (160 Hz) was greater than during low frequency stimulation (30 Hz) and the resting state. These findings demonstrate complex responses to DBS and imply that output activation throughout the basal ganglia-thalamic-cortical network rather than local inhibition is a therapeutic mechanism of DBS. © 2011 the American Physiological Society.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Walker HC; Watts RL; Schrandt CJ; Huang H; Guthrie SL; Guthrie BL; Montgomery EB
  • Start Page

  • 1112
  • End Page

  • 1121
  • Volume

  • 105
  • Issue

  • 3