Orientation selective deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus in rats

Lauri J. Lehto, Antonietta Canna, Lin Wu, Alejandra Sierra, Ekaterina Zhurakovskaya, Jun Ma, Clairice Pearce, Maple Shaio, Pavel Filip, Matthew D. Johnson, Walter C. Low, Olli Gröhn, Heikki Tanila, Silvia Mangia, Shalom Michaeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become an important tool in the management of a wide spectrum of diseases in neurology and psychiatry. Target selection is a vital aspect of DBS so that only the desired areas are stimulated. Segmented leads and current steering have been shown to be promising additions to DBS technology enabling better control of the stimulating electric field. Recently introduced orientation selective DBS (OS-DBS) is a related development permitting sensitization of the stimulus to axonal pathways with different orientations by freely controlling the primary direction of the electric field using multiple contacts. Here, we used OS-DBS to stimulate the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in healthy rats while simultaneously monitoring the induced brain activity with fMRI. Maximal activation of the sensorimotor and basal ganglia-thalamocortical networks was observed when the electric field was aligned mediolaterally in the STN pointing in the lateral direction, while no cortical activation was observed with the electric field pointing medially to the opposite direction. Such findings are consistent with mediolateral main direction of the STN fibers, as seen with high resolution diffusion imaging and histology. The asymmetry of the OS-DBS dipolar field distribution using three contacts along with the potential stimulation of the internal capsule, are also discussed. We conclude that OS-DBS offers an additional degree of flexibility for optimization of DBS of the STN which may enable a better treatment response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116750
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health U01-NS103569-01 , the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research NIH core grant P41EB027061 , NIH R01-NS094206 , NIH R01-NS094206 , the EU H2020 Marie Skłodowska RISE project # 691110 (MICROBRADAM), Erkko foundation (OG) , Academy of Finland (AS) .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Movement disorders
  • Orientation selective
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Subthalamic nucleus
  • fMRI

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) tags

  • BFC
  • NFMC
  • NM
  • P41


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