Functional neuronal activity and connectivity within the subthalamic nucleus in Parkinson's disease

M.A.J. Lourens, H.G.E. Meijer, M.F. Contarino, P. van den Munckhof, P.R. Schuurman, S.A. van Gils, L.J. Bour

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    Objective: Characterization of the functional neuronal activity and connectivity within the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

    Methods: Single units were extracted from micro-electrode recording (MER) of 18 PD patients who underwent STN deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. The firing rate and pattern of simultaneously recorded spike trains and their coherence were analyzed. To provide a precise functional assignment of position to the observed activities, for each patient we mapped its classified multichannel STN MERs to a generic atlas representation with a sensorimotor part and a remaining part.

    Results: Within the sensorimotor part we found significantly higher mean firing rate (P < 0.05) and significantly more burst-like activity (P < 0.05) than within the remaining part. The proportion of significant coherence in the beta band (13–30 Hz) is significantly higher in the sensorimotor part of the STN than elsewhere (P = 0.015).

    Conclusions: The STN sensorimotor part distinguishes itself from the remaining part with respect to beta coherence, firing rate and burst-like activity and postoperatively was found as the preferred target area.SignificanceOur firing behavior analysis may help to discriminate the STN sensorimotor part for the placement of the DBS electrode.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)967-981
    Number of pages15
    JournalClinical neurophysiology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2013



    • EWI-23053
    • Functional connectivity
    • Intraoperative micro-electrode recordings
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • Deep Brain Stimulation
    • Subthalamic nucleus
    • METIS-296290
    • IR-85487
    • Stereotactic surgery

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