Clinical and cerebral activity changes induced by subthalamic nucleus stimulation in advanced Parkinson's disease: A prospective case-control study

Roberto Cilia, Giorgio Marotta, Andrea Landi, Ioannis U. Isaias, Claudio B. Mariani, Francesco Vergani, Riccardo Benti, Erik Sganzerla, Gianni Pezzoli, Angelo Antonini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: High-frequency stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) improves motor symptoms in advanced Parkinson's disease (PD), but the mechanisms are still unclear. Functional imaging evidenced pathological overactivity in motor cortical areas in advanced PD that can be normalized by effective therapies. Patients and methods: We studied resting state cerebral blood flow pre-operatively and 12 months after surgery in 40 patients with advanced PD using ECD-SPECT. SPECT scans were also acquired 1 year apart in 21 matched PD controls who did not undergo surgery. Statistical analysis was performed using statistical parametric mapping (SPM2) software. In addition, we correlated brain perfusion changes after surgery with clinical improvement, assessed using the unified PD rating scale motor score (UPDRS-III). Results: Patients showed marked motor improvement and medication reduction after surgery. Stimulated PD patients revealed bilateral rCBF decrements in motor cortical areas and prefrontal cortex bilaterally compared to pre-surgical condition as well as versus PD controls (p <.01 FDR corrected). Perfusion increases were found in cerebellum, temporal and occipital lobes. Clinical improvement was associated with perfusion decrements in primary motor and premotor cortices. Conclusions: Effective STN-DBS is associated with neuronal activity changes in brain regions implicated in movement programming and performance. We hypothesize that clinical benefit might be associated with stimulation-induced normalization of the abnormal overactivity within the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical motor loop in advanced PD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Volume111
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009

Keywords

  • Cerebral blood flow
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Neuroimaging
  • Parkinson's disease
  • SPECT
  • Subthalamic nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery

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