Deep Brain Stimulation Imposes Complex Informational Lesions

Filippo Agnesi, Allison T. Connolly, Kenneth B. Baker, Jerrold L. Vitek, Matthew D. Johnson

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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy has become an essential tool for treating a range of brain disorders. In the resting state, DBS is known to regularize spike activity in and downstream of the stimulated brain target, which in turn has been hypothesized to create informational lesions. Here, we specifically test this hypothesis using repetitive joint articulations in two non-human Primates while recording single-unit activity in the sensorimotor globus pallidus and motor thalamus before, during, and after DBS in the globus pallidus (GP) GP-DBS resulted in: (1) stimulus-entrained firing patterns in globus pallidus, (2) a monophasic stimulus-entrained firing pattern in motor thalamus, and (3) a complete or partial loss of responsiveness to joint position, velocity, or acceleration in globus pallidus (75%, 12/16 cells) and in the pallidal receiving area of motor thalamus (ventralis lateralis pars oralis, VLo) (38%, 21/55 cells). Despite loss of kinematic tuning, cells in the globus pallidus (63%, 10/16 cells) and VLo (84%, 46/55 cells) still responded to one or more aspects of joint movement during GP-DBS. Further, modulated kinematic tuning did not always necessitate modulation in firing patterns (2/12 cells in globus pallidus; 13/23 cells in VLo), and regularized firing patterns did not always correspond to altered responses to joint articulation (3/4 cells in globus pallidus, 11/33 cells in VLo). In this context, DBS therapy appears to function as an amalgam of network modulating and network lesioning therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere74462
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 26 2013


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