Gender-related differences in the human subthalamic area: A local field potential study

S. Marceglia, S. Mrakic-Sposta, G. Foffani, F. Cogiamanian, E. Caputo, M. Egidi, S. Barbieri, A. Priori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The objective of this study was to investigate the possible existence of gender-related neurophysiological differences in the oscillatory activity of the human subthalamic area. To this end, we recorded local field potentials (LFPs) after neurosurgical procedures for deep brain stimulation (DBS) in 24 patients (12 males and 12 females) with Parkinson's disease. LFP recordings at rest before levodopa medication (19 nuclei from 11 female patients and 16 nuclei from ten male patients) showed significantly higher power in the alpha/low-beta band (8-12 Hz, P <0.01; 13-20 Hz, P = 0.03) in females than in males. After levodopa medication (ten nuclei from six female patients and 11 nuclei from seven male patients), the power in the high-gamma band (60-90 Hz) and of the 300 Hz rhythm was significantly higher in females than in males (high-gamma, P = 0.007; 300 Hz, P = 0.002). These findings show that functional gender-related differences in the central nervous system involve the human subthalamic area (STN) and its response to levodopa in Parkinson's disease. Gender-related neurophysiological differences may be important for understanding gender-specific features of neurodegenerative disorders and should be considered when interpreting LFP data from the human basal ganglia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3213-3222
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


  • Basal ganglia
  • Electrophysiology
  • Gender
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Pathophysiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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