Medical Bionics - Research Publications

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    Towards guided and automated programming of subthalamic area stimulation in Parkinson's disease
    Xu, SS ; Sinclair, NC ; Bulluss, KJ ; Perera, T ; Lee, W-L ; McDermott, HJ ; Thevathasan, W (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2022-01-04)
    Selecting the ideal contact to apply subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation in Parkinson's disease can be an arduous process, with outcomes highly dependent on clinician expertise. This study aims to assess whether neuronal signals recorded intraoperatively in awake patients, and the anatomical location of contacts, can assist programming. In a cohort of 14 patients with Parkinson's disease, implanted with subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation, the four contacts on each lead in the 28 hemispheres were ranked according to proximity to a nominated ideal anatomical location and power of the following neuronal signals: evoked resonant neural activity, beta oscillations and high-frequency oscillations. We assessed how these rankings predicted, on each lead: (i) the motor benefit from deep brain stimulation applied through each contact and (ii) the 'ideal' contact to apply deep brain stimulation. The ranking of contacts according to each factor predicted motor benefit from subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation, as follows: evoked resonant neural activity; r 2 = 0.50, Akaike information criterion 1039.9, beta; r 2 = 0.50, Akaike information criterion 1041.6, high-frequency oscillations; r 2 = 0.44, Akaike information criterion 1057.2 and anatomy; r 2 = 0.49, Akaike information criterion 1048.0. Combining evoked resonant neural activity, beta and high-frequency oscillations ranking data yielded the strongest predictive model (r 2 = 0.61, Akaike information criterion 1021.5). The 'ideal' contact (yielding maximal benefit) was ranked first according to each factor in the following proportion of hemispheres; evoked resonant neural activity 18/28, beta 17/28, anatomy 16/28, high-frequency oscillations 7/28. Across hemispheres, the maximal available deep brain stimulation benefit did not differ from that yielded by contacts chosen by clinicians for chronic therapy or contacts ranked first according to evoked resonant neural activity. Evoked resonant neural activity, beta oscillations and anatomy similarly predicted how motor benefit from subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation varied across contacts on each lead. This could assist programming by providing a probability ranking of contacts akin to a 'monopolar survey'. However, these factors identified the 'ideal' contact in only a proportion of hemispheres. More advanced signal processing and anatomical techniques may be needed for the full automation of contact selection.
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    How accurately are subthalamic nucleus electrodes implanted relative to the ideal stimulation location for Parkinson's disease?
    Pearce, P ; Bulluss, K ; Xu, SS ; Kim, B ; Milicevic, M ; Perera, T ; Thevathasan, W ; Toft, M (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2021-07-15)
    INTRODUCTION: The efficacy of subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson's disease (PD) depends on how closely electrodes are implanted relative to an individual's ideal stimulation location. Yet, previous studies have assessed how closely electrodes are implanted relative to the planned location, after homogenizing data to a reference. Thus here, we measured how accurately electrodes are implanted relative to an ideal, dorsal STN stimulation location, assessed on each individual's native imaging. This measure captures not only the technical error of stereotactic implantation but also constraints imposed by planning a suitable trajectory. METHODS: This cross-sectional study assessed 226 electrodes in 113 consecutive PD patients implanted with bilateral STN-DBS by experienced clinicians utilizing awake, microelectrode guided, surgery. The error (Euclidean distance) between the actual electrode trajectory versus a nominated ideal, dorsal STN stimulation location was determined in each hemisphere on native imaging and predictive factors sought. RESULTS: The median electrode location error was 1.62 mm (IQR = 1.23 mm). This error exceeded 3 mm in 28/226 electrodes (12.4%). Location error did not differ between hemispheres implanted first or second, suggesting brain shift was minimised. Location error did not differ between electrodes positioned with (48/226), or without, a preceding microelectrode trajectory shift (suggesting such shifts were beneficial). There was no relationship between location error and case order, arguing against a learning effect. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: The proximity of STN-DBS electrodes to a nominated ideal, dorsal STN, stimulation location is highly variable, even when implanted by experienced clinicians with brain shift minimized, and without evidence of a learning effect. Using this measure, we found that assessments on awake patients (microelectrode recordings and clinical examination) likely yielded beneficial intraoperative decisions to improve positioning. In many patients the error is likely to have reduced therapeutic efficacy. More accurate methods to implant STN-DBS electrodes relative to the ideal stimulation location are needed.
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    Balance control systems in Parkinson's disease and the impact of pedunculopontine area stimulation
    Perera, T ; Tan, JL ; Cole, MH ; Yohanandan, SAC ; Silberstein, P ; Cook, R ; Peppard, R ; Aziz, T ; Coyne, T ; Brown, P ; Silburn, PA ; Thevathasan, W (OXFORD UNIV PRESS, 2018-10-01)
    Impaired balance is a major contributor to falls and diminished quality of life in Parkinson's disease, yet the pathophysiology is poorly understood. Here, we assessed if patients with Parkinson's disease and severe clinical balance impairment have deficits in the intermittent and continuous control systems proposed to maintain upright stance, and furthermore, whether such deficits are potentially reversible, with the experimental therapy of pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulation. Two subject groups were assessed: (i) 13 patients with Parkinson's disease and severe clinical balance impairment, implanted with pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulators; and (ii) 13 healthy control subjects. Patients were assessed in the OFF medication state and blinded to two conditions; off and on pedunculopontine nucleus stimulation. Postural sway data (deviations in centre of pressure) were collected during quiet stance using posturography. Intermittent control of sway was assessed by calculating the frequency of intermittent switching behaviour (discontinuities), derived using a wavelet-based transformation of the sway time series. Continuous control of sway was assessed with a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller model using ballistic reaction time as a measure of feedback delay. Clinical balance impairment was assessed using the 'pull test' to rate postural reflexes and by rating attempts to arise from sitting to standing. Patients with Parkinson's disease demonstrated reduced intermittent switching of postural sway compared with healthy controls. Patients also had abnormal feedback gains in postural sway according to the PID model. Pedunculopontine nucleus stimulation improved intermittent switching of postural sway, feedback gains in the PID model and clinical balance impairment. Clinical balance impairment correlated with intermittent switching of postural sway (rho = - 0.705, P < 0.001) and feedback gains in the PID model (rho = 0.619, P = 0.011). These results suggest that dysfunctional intermittent and continuous control systems may contribute to the pathophysiology of clinical balance impairment in Parkinson's disease. Clinical balance impairment and their related control system deficits are potentially reversible, as demonstrated by their improvement with pedunculopontine nucleus deep brain stimulation.
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    Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation evokes resonant neural activity
    Sinclair, NC ; McDermott, HJ ; Bulluss, KJ ; Fallon, JB ; Perera, T ; Xu, SS ; Brown, P ; Thevathasan, W (WILEY, 2018-05-01)
    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a rapidly expanding treatment for neurological and psychiatric conditions; however, a target-specific biomarker is required to optimize therapy. Here, we show that DBS evokes a large-amplitude resonant neural response focally in the subthalamic nucleus. This response is greatest in the dorsal region (the clinically optimal stimulation target for Parkinson disease), coincides with improved clinical performance, is chronically recordable, and is present under general anesthesia. These features make it a readily utilizable electrophysiological signal that could potentially be used for guiding electrode implantation surgery and tailoring DBS therapy to improve patient outcomes. Ann Neurol 2018;83:1027-1031.