Thalamic Local Field Potentials Are Related to Long-Term DBS Effects in Tourette Syndrome

Sara Marceglia, Marco Prenassi, Tommaso F. Galbiati, Mauro Porta, Edvin Zekaj, Alberto Priori, Domenico Servello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Local field potential (LFP) recordings helped to clarify the pathophysiology of Tourette syndrome (TS) and to define new strategies for deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment for refractory TS, based on the delivery of stimulation in accordance with changes in the electrical activity of the DBS target area. However, there is little evidence on the relationship between LFP pattern and DBS outcomes in TS. Objective: To investigate the relationship between LFP oscillations and DBS effects on tics and on obsessive compulsive behavior (OCB) comorbidities. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed clinical data and LFP recordings from 17 patients treated with DBS of the centromedian-parafascicular/ventralis oralis (CM-Pf/VO) complex, and followed for more several years after DBS in the treating center. In these patients, LFPs were recorded either in the acute setting (3–5 days after DBS electrode implant) or in the chronic setting (during impulse generator replacement surgery). LFP oscillations were correlated with the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) and the Yale–Brown Obsessive–Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) collected at baseline (before DBS surgery), 1 year after DBS, and at the last follow-up available. Results: We found that, at baseline, in the acute setting, the power of the oscillations included in the 5–15-Hz band, previously identified as TS biomarker, is correlated with the pathophysiology of tics, being significantly correlated with total YGTSS before DBS (Spearman's ρ = 0.701, p = 0.011). The power in the 5–15-Hz band was also correlated with the improvement in Y-BOCS after 1 year of DBS (Spearman's ρ = −0.587, p = 0.045), thus suggesting a relationship with the DBS effects on OCB comorbidities. Conclusions: Our observations confirm that the low-frequency (5–15-Hz) band is a significant biomarker of TS, being related to the severity of tics and, also to the long-term response on OCBs. This represents a step toward both the understanding of the mechanisms underlying DBS effects in TS and the development of adaptive DBS strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number578324
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2021


  • deep brain stimulation
  • local field potentials
  • obsessive compulsive behaviors
  • tics
  • Tourette syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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