Amplitude- and frequency-dependent changes in neuronal regularity parallel changes in tremor with thalamic deep brain stimulation

Alexis M. Kuncel, Scott E. Cooper, Barbara R. Wolgamuth, Warren M. Grill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mechanisms by which deep brain stimulation (DBS) alleviates tremor remain unclear, but successful treatment can be achieved with properly selected frequency and amplitude. The clinical tremor response to thalamic DBS for essential tremor is dependent on the stimulation frequency and amplitude, and for high frequencies (≥90 Hz), increasing amplitude suppressed tremor, whereas for low frequencies (<60 Hz), increasing amplitude aggravated tremor. We studied the effects of stimulation frequency and amplitude on the output of a population of intrinsically active model neurons to test the hypothesis that regularization of neuronal firing patterns is responsible for the clinical effectiveness of DBS. The firing patterns of model thalamocortical neurons were dependent on stimulation frequency and amplitude in a manner similar to the clinical tremor response. Above a critical frequency, increasing amplitude reduced the coefficient of variation (CV) of the neuronal firing pattern, whereas for low frequencies, increasing the amplitude increased the CV of neuronal activity. The correlation between the changes in tremor and the changes in the CV of neuronal firing supports the hypothesis that regularization of neuronal firing pattern during DBS is one of the mechanisms underlying the suppression of tremor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007

Keywords

  • Electrical stimulation
  • Essential tremor
  • Movement disorders
  • Thalamus

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