Cortically evoked potentials in the human subthalamic nucleus

Daphne G. M. Zwartjes*, Marcus L. F. Janssen, Tjitske Heida, Vivianne Van Kranen-Mastenbroek, Lo J. Bour, Yasin Temel, Veerle Visser-Vandewalle, Peter H. Veltink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Deep brain stimulation (DES) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) alleviates motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. However, in a substantial number of patients the beneficial effects of STN DBS are overshadowed by psychiatric side effects. We hypothesize that stimulation of the STN motor area will provide the optimal effect on the motor symptoms without inducing these side effects, and expect that motor cortex stimulation (MCS) evokes a spatially specific response within the STN, which identifies the STN motor area. We previously showed that MCS evokes responses in the unit activity specifically within certain areas of the STN. Unit activity is generally considered a measure of the output activity. To gain more insight into the neuronal input into the STN, we describe the results of cortically evoked subthalamic local field potentials (LFPs). We show that the cortically evoked LFPs follow a certain temporal and spatial pattern. The significant peaks of the evoked LFPs coincide with the timing of some of the inhibitions and excitations present in the unit responses. The spatial resolution of responses measured in the LFP to MCS is not high enough to identify the STN motor region. However, we believe that optimizing targeting techniques and the development of novel DBS electrodes will improve STN DBS therapy for PD patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2013


  • Subthalamic nucleus
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Motor cortex stimulation
  • Local field potential

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