Acute stimulation in the external segment of the globus pallidus improves parkinsonian motor signs

Jerrold L. Vitek, Takao Hashimoto, John Peoples, Mahlon R. DeLong, Roy A.E. Bakay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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High frequency (>100Hz) electrical stimulation in both the external (GPe) and internal (GPi) segments of the globus pallidus was effective in improving parkinsonian motor signs. Improvement generally occurred at short latency (<5-10 seconds) in both GPe and GPi but was often (50% of the time) delayed in GPi. Dyskinetic movements were observed during stimulation within GPe and GPi but were more frequent in GPe (20% vs. 9%). These findings suggest that electrical stimulation in both GPe and GPi may ameliorate parkinsonian motor signs. The mechanisms responsible for these observations, however, may differ. The tendency for delayed responses with GPi stimulation suggests a more complex spatial-temporal profile of stimulation on the electrical activity of GPi neurons and/or its effect on network activity in pallido-thalamo-cortical circuitry. The rarity of delayed effects with GPe stimulation suggests a more direct role of synaptic inhibition or normalization of neuronal activity of GPi either directly by means of activation of striatopallidal fibers passing through GPe (direct pathway), by means of activation of GPe→GPi or GPe→subthalamic nucleus projections (indirect pathway) or indirectly by means of the tonic activation of adjacent fiber pathways. These data provide a rationale for the exploration of electrical stimulation in GPe in patients with medically intractable Parkinson's disease and provide a basis on which to develop further investigations into the use of chronic electrical stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)907-915
Number of pages9
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Globus pallidus
  • Parkinsonism


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