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Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2019 Apr 3. pii: S1353-8020(19)30194-4. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2019.03.028. [Epub ahead of print]

Mapping stimulation-induced beneficial and adverse effects in the subthalamic area of essential tremor patients.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
2
Department of Neurosurgery, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
3
Department of Neurophysiology and Pathophysiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
4
Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address: cchoe@uke.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Stimulation of the subthalamic area (STA) is an effective treatment in essential tremor patients, but limited by stimulation induced adverse effects. The aim of this study was to determine the spatial distribution of stimulus related tremor suppression, ataxia induction and paresthesia of the upper limb in the subthalamic area (STA) of essential tremor patients.

METHODS:

We recruited eight patients with essential tremor in a stable postoperative condition (>3 months after surgery). Stimulation-induced effects were assessed with suprathreshold stimulation. Tremor severity was assessed with the Fahn-Tolosa-Marin tremor rating scale (TRS) and cerebellar impairment was evaluated using the international cooperative ataxia rating scale (ICARS). Patients rated paresthesia intensity with a visual analog scale. Linear regression analysis was performed to associate stereotactic coordinates with tremor, ataxia and paresthesia.

RESULTS:

Suprathreshold stimulation significantly decreased tremor and elicited ataxia and paresthesia in all patients (P < 0.001). Tremor rating scale (TRS) total score was positively correlated with y-coordinates (r = 0.44, P < 0.05), i.e. anterior stimulation sites were more effective to suppress tremor. Concerning adverse effects, ataxia induction was positively correlated with z-coordinates almost reaching statistical significance (r = 0.50, P = 0.07), i.e. inferior stimulation sites elicit stronger ataxia. Furthermore, paresthesia was positively correlated with y-coordinates (r = 0.66; P < 0.01) and to a lesser degree with x-coordinates (r = 0.32; P = 0.08), i.e. posterior and lateral stimulation sites within the STA caused more paresthesia.

CONCLUSION:

Antero-dorso-medial stimulation site in the STA were associated with less tremor and adverse effects in our small single-center cohort of ET patients with thalamic DBS.

KEYWORDS:

Ataxia; Deep brain stimulation; Essential tremor; Paresthesia; Stereotactic coordinates; Subthalamic area

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