Temporal excitation properties of paresthesias evoked by thalamic microstimulation

Warren M. Grill, Adam M. Simmons, Scott E. Cooper, Svjetlana Miocinovic, Erwin B. Montgomery, Kenneth B. Baker, Ali R. Rezai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: The neuronal elements mediating the effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) are unknown. The objective was to determine the strength-duration properties of the neuronal elements that mediate paresthesias evoked by thalamic microstimulation. Methods: The strength-duration properties of the neuronal elements causing paresthesias were measured using intraoperative microstimulation of the human thalamus. The sample included both concordant (reported in the same region as the mapped sensory receptive fields) and discordant paresthesias (reported in a region different than the mapped sensory receptive fields). Results: There were no significant differences between the chronaxies of concordant and discordant paresthesias. There was no significant correlation between chronaxie and rheobase for concordant paresthesias, but a strong negative correlation existed for discordant paresthesias. Conclusions: Chronaxies did not distinguish the neuronal elements mediating concordant and discordant paresthesias, but correlations between chronaxie and rheobase suggest that concordant paresthesias were produced by activation of local cells while discordant paresthesias were caused by activation of axons of passage. Significance: The similarity between the strength-duration properties of paresthesias evoked by thalamic stimulation, tremor reduction evoked by thalamic DBS, and EMG responses to thalamic DBS does not mean that these effects are caused by the same neural elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1227-1234
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH R01-NS-40894) and the American Parkinson Disease Association Advanced Center for Research.


  • Chronaxie
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Human
  • Sensation
  • Side effect
  • Thalamus


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