BACKGROUND: The effects of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (DBS-STN) and L-dopa (LD) on cortical activity in Parkinson's disease (PD) are poorly understood.
OBJECTIVES: By combining transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electroencephalography (EEG) we explored the effects of STN-DBS, either alone or in combination with L-Dopa (LD), on TMS-evoked cortical activity in a sample of implanted PD patients.
METHODS: PD patients were tested in three clinical conditions: i) LD therapy with STN-DBS turned on (ON/ON condition); ii) without LD therapy with STN-DBS turned on (OFF/ON condition); iii) without LD therapy with STN-DBS turned off (OFF/OFF condition). TMS pulses were delivered over left M1 while simultaneously acquiring EEG. Eight age-matched healthy volunteers (HC) were tested as a control group.
RESULTS: STN-DBS enhanced early global TMS-evoked activity (∼45-80ms) and high-alpha TMS-evoked oscillations (11-13 Hz) as compared to OFF/OFF condition, independently from concomitant LD therapy. LD intake (ON/ON condition) produced a further increase of late TMS-evoked activity (∼80-130ms) and beta TMS-evoked oscillations (13-30 Hz), as compared to OFF/OFF and OFF/ON conditions, that normalized reactivity as compared to HC range of values.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data reveal that bilateral STN-DBS and LD therapy induce a modulation of specific cortical components and specific ranges of frequency. These findings demonstrate that STN-DBS and LD therapy may have synergistic effects on motor cortical activity.
- Journal Article