The ventral intermediate (VIM) thalamic nucleus is the main target for the surgical treatment of refractory tremor. Initial targeting traditionally relies on atlas-based stereotactic targeting formulas, which only minimally account for individual anatomy. Al- ternative approaches have been proposed, including direct targeting of the dentato-rubro- thalamic tract (DRTT), which, in clinical settings, is generally reconstructed with deterministic tracking. Whether more advanced probabilistic techniques are feasible on clinical-grade magnetic resonance acquisitions and lead to enhanced reconstructions is poorly understood.
OBJECTIVE: To compare DRTT reconstructed with deterministic vs probabilistic tracking. METHODS: Thisisaretrospectivestudyof19patientswithessentialtremorwhounderwentdeep brain stimulation (DBS) with intraoperative neurophysiology and stimulation testing. We assessed the proximity of the DRTT to the DBS lead and to the active contact chosen based on clinical response.
RESULTS: In the commissural plane, the deterministic DRTT was anterior (P<104)and < 104) to the DBS lead. By contrast, although the probabilistic DRTT was also anterior to the lead (P < 104), there was no difference in the mediolateral dimension (P = .5). Moreover, the 3- dimensional Euclidean distance from the active contact to the probabilistic DRTT was smaller vs the distance to the deterministic DRTT (3.32 ± 1.70 mm vs 5.01 ± 2.12 mm; P < 104).
CONCLUSION: DRTT reconstructed with probabilistic fiber tracking was superior in spatial proximity to the physiology-guided DBS lead and to the empirically chosen active contact. These data inform strategies for surgical targeting of the VIM.
Cerebellar neuromodulation could influence the pathological abnormalities of movement disorders through several connections between the cerebellum and the basal ganglia or other cortices. In the present report, the authors demonstrate the effects of cerebellar deep brain stimulation (DBS) on a patient with severe generalized fixed dystonia (FD) that was refractory to bilateral pallidotomy and intrathecal baclofen therapy.
A previously healthy 16-year-old girl presented with generalized FD. Bilateral pallidotomy and intrathecal baclofen therapy had failed to resolve her condition, following which she received DBS through the bilateral superior cerebellar peduncle (SCP) and dentate nucleus (DN). Ipsilateral stimulation of the SCP or DN improved the FD, and the ability of DBS administered via the SCP to relax muscles was better than that of DN DBS.
A considerable improvement of generalized FD, from a bedridden state to a wheelchairbound state, was observed in the patient following 6 months of chronic bilateral DBS via the SCP; moreover, the patient was able to move her arms and legs. The findings in the present case suggest that neuromodulation of deep cerebellar structures is a promising treatment for FD that is refractory to conventional treatments.
Surgical procedures involving deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the globus pallidus internus (GPi) or subthalamic nucleus (STN) are well-established treatments for isolated dystonia. However, selection of the best stimulation target remains a matter of debate. The authors’ objective was to compare the effectiveness of DBS of the GPi and the STN in patients with isolated dystonia.
METHODS In this matched retrospective cohort study, the authors searched an institutional database for data on all patients with isolated dystonia who had undergone bilateral implantation of DBS electrodes in either the GPi or STN in the period from January 30, 2014, to June 30, 2017. Standardized assessments of dystonia and health-related quality of life using the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) and SF-36 were conducted before and at 1, 6, and 12 months after surgery. No patients were lost to the 6-month follow-up; 5 patients were lost to the 12-month follow-up.
RESULTS Both GPi (14 patients) and STN (16 patients) stimulation produced significant improvement in dystonia and quality of life in all 30 patients found in the database search. At the 1-month follow-up, however, the percentage improvement in the BFMDRS total movement score was significantly (p = 0.01) larger after STN DBS (64%) than after GPi DBS (48%). At the 12-month follow-up, the percentage improvement in the axis subscore was significantly (p = 0.03) larger after GPi DBS (93%) than after STN DBS (83%). Also, the total amount of electrical energy delivered was significantly (p = 0.008) lower with STN DBS than with GPi DBS (124 ± 52 vs 192 ± 65 mJ, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS The GPi and STN are both effective targets in alleviating dystonia and improving quality of life. However, GPi stimulation may be better for patients with axial symptoms. Moreover, STN stimulation may produce a larger clinical response within 1 month after surgery and may have a potential economic advantage in terms of lower battery consumption.
Neuronal loss within the cholinergic nucleus basalis of Meynert (nbM) correlates with cognitive decline in dementing disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (PD). In nonhuman primates, the nbM firing pattern (5–40 Hz) has also been correlated with working memory and sustained attention. In this study, authors performed microelectrode recordings of the globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) and the nbM immediately prior to the implantation of bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes in PD patients to treat motor symptoms and cognitive impairment, respectively. Here, the authors evaluate the electrophysiological properties of the nbM in patients with PD.
METHODS Five patients (4 male, mean age 66 ± 4 years) with PD and mild cognitive impairment underwent bilateral GPi and nbM DBS lead implantation. Microelectrode recordings were performed through the GPi and nbM along a single trajectory. Firing rates and burst indices were characterized for each neuronal population with the patient at rest and performing a sustained-attention auditory oddball task. Action potential (AP) depolarization and repolarization widths were measured for each neuronal population at rest.
RESULTS In PD patients off medication, the authors identified neuronal discharge rates that were specific to each area populated by GPi cells (92.6 ± 46.1 Hz), border cells (34 ± 21 Hz), and nbM cells (13 ± 10 Hz). During the oddball task, firing rates of nbM cells decreased (2.9 ± 0.9 to 2.0 ± 1.1 Hz, p < 0.05). During baseline recordings, the burst index for nbM cells (1.7 ± 0.6) was significantly greater than those for GPi cells (1.2 ± 0.2, p < 0.05) and border cells (1.1 ± 0.1, p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the nbM burst index during the oddball task relative to baseline (3.4 ± 1.7, p = 0.20). With the patient at rest, the width of the depolarization phase of APs did not differ among the GPi cells, border cells, and nbM cells (p = 0.60); however, during the repolarization phase, the nbM spikes were significantly longer than those for GPi high-frequency discharge cells (p < 0.05) but not the border cells (p = 0.20).
CONCLUSIONS Neurons along the trajectory through the GPi and nbM have distinct firing patterns. The profile of nbM activity is similar to that observed in nonhuman primates and is altered during a cognitive task associated with cholinergic activation. These findings will serve to identify these targets intraoperatively and form the basis for further research to characterize the role of the nbM in cognition.
Camptocormia is a potentially debilitating condition in the progression of Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is described as an abnormal forward flexion while standing that resolves when lying supine. Although the condition is relatively common, the underlying pathophysiology and optimal treatment strategy are unclear. In this study, the authors systematically reviewed the current surgical management strategies for camptocormia.
METHODS PubMed was queried for primary studies involving surgical intervention for camptocormia in PD patients. Studies were excluded if they described nonsurgical interventions, provided only descriptive data, or were case reports. Secondarily, data from studies describing deep brain stimulation (DBS) to the subthalamic nuclei were extracted for potential meta-analysis. Variables showing correlation to improvement in sagittal plane bending angle (i.e., the vertical angle caused by excessive kyphosis) were subjected to formal meta-analysis.
RESULTS The query resulted in 9 studies detailing treatment of camptocormia: 1 study described repetitive trans-spinal magnetic stimulation (rTSMS), 7 studies described DBS, and 1 study described deformity surgery. Five studies were included for meta-analysis. The total number of patients was 66. The percentage of patients with over 50% decrease in sagittal plane imbalance with DBS was 36.4%. A duration of camptocormia of 2 years or less was predictive of better outcomes (OR 4.15).
CONCLUSIONS Surgical options include transient, external spinal stimulation; DBS targeting the subthalamic nuclei; and spinal deformity surgery. Benefit from DBS stimulation was inconsistent. Spine surgery corrected spinal imbalance but was associated with a high complication rate.
Tourette syndrome (TS) is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by multiple motor and phonic tics. While pharmacological and behavioral therapy can be effective in most patients, a subset of patients remains refractory to treatment. Increasing clinical evidence from multiple centers suggests that deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the medial thalamus can be effective in many cases of refractory TS.
METHODS The authors retrospectively reviewed outcomes in 13 patients with refractory TS who underwent medial thalamic DBS performed by their team over a 7-year period. Patients were evaluated by a multidisciplinary team, and preoperative objective assessments were performed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale (YGTSS) and Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale. YGTSS scores were calculated at visits immediately postoperatively and at the most recent follow-up in patients with a minimum of 6 months of postoperative follow-up. Coordinates of the active DBS contacts were calculated and projected onto each patient’s pre- and postoperative images.
RESULTS Patients showed an average decrease of 37% (p = 0.0063) in the total tic severity at their first postoperative visit. At their latest visit, their scores achieved significance, decreasing from preoperative scores by an average of 50% (p = 0.0014). The average position of the active contact was noted to be at the junction of the posterior ventralis oralis internus/ centromedian-parafascicular nuclei. Device-related complications occurred in 2 patients, necessitating additional surgeries. All patients continued to use the system at last follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS The authors’ data are consistent with the small but growing body of literature supporting DBS of the ventralis oralis internus/centromedian-parafascicular thalamus as an effective and relatively safe treatment for severe, refractory TS.
Whether a difference in morphology of the infratentorial space is associated with hemifacial spasm is not well understood. The aim of this study was to analyze the three-dimensional conformation of the infratentorial space and evaluate any possible contribution of morphological characteristics to the development of neurovascular compression leading to hemifacial spasm.
Methods We enrolled 25 patients with hemifacial spasm and matched them by age and sex to controls. The extent of the three-dimensional axes and the volume of the infratentorial space were measured using image analysis software for three-dimensional MRI.We evaluated the correlation between a morphological difference in the infratentorial space and changes in vascular configuration in the brain stem.
Results We found no statistical difference in volumetric analyses. The mean aspect ratio on the coronal plane (the ratio of the Z to X extent) of the infratentorial space in patients with hemifacial spasm was significantly lower (p < 0.01) than that in controls, as was the mean aspect ratio on the sagittal plane (the ratio of Z to Yextent, p <0.01). A smaller sagittal aspect ratio was correlated (p < 0.05) with greater lateral deviation of the basilar artery.
Conclusions Our results suggest that flatness of the superior-inferior dimension of the infratentorial space is an anatomical feature that characterizes patients with hemifacial spasm. We hypothesize that this unique structural variation may exaggerate the lateral deviation of the vertebrobasilar arteries due to arteriosclerosis and exacerbate the space competition among vessels and cranial nerves.
Globus Pallidus Interna (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective treatment for DYT1-associated dystonia, but long-term results are lacking.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the long-term effects of GPi DBS in patients with DYT1 dystonia.
METHODS: A retrospective chart review (cohort study) of 47 consecutive DYT11 patients treated by a single surgical team over a 10-year period and followed for up to 96 months (mean, 46 months) was performed. Symptom severity was quantified with the Burke-Fahn-Marsden Dystonia Rating Scale (BFMDRS) motor (M) and disability (D) sub-scores.
RESULTS: As measured with the BFMDRS (M), symptom severity was reduced to less than 20% of baseline after 2 years of DBS therapy (P = .001). The disability scores were reduced to ,30% of baseline (P = .001). Symptomatic improvement was durable throughout available follow-up. Sixty-one percent of patients had discontinued all dystonia-related medications at their last follow-up. Ninety-one percent had discontinued at least 1 class of medication. Infections requiring removal and later reimplantation of hardware occurred in 4 of 47 patients (8.5%). Hardware malfunction including lead fractures occurred in 4 of 47 cases (8.5%). Lead revision to address poor clinical response was performed in 2 of 92 implanted leads (2.2%).
CONCLUSION: GPi DBS is an effective therapy for DYT1-associated torsion dystonia. Statistically significant efficacy is maintained for up to 7 years. Neurologic complications are rare, but long-term hardware-related complications can be significant.
The ventrolateral thalamus (ventral intermediate nucleus [Vim]) is the traditional target for neurosurgical treatment of essential tremor. The target, however, has varied substantially among different neurosurgeons.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of deep brain stimulation in the thalamus and posterior subthalamic area (PSA) in relation to electrode location.
METHODS: Thirty-six (17 Vim/19 PSA) patients with 44 deep brain stimulation electrodes were included in this retrospective study. The effect of stimulation was evaluated with standardized settings for each contact using items from the Essential Tremor Rating Scale.
RESULTS: When each contact was evaluated in terms of the treated hand with standardized stimulation, the electrode contact providing the best effect in the individual patient was located in the zona incerta or radiation prelemniscalis in 54% and the Vim in 12%. Forty contacts provided a tremor reduction of . 90%. Of these, 43% were located in the PSA and 18% in the Vim according to the Schaltenbrand atlas. Of these 40 contacts, 37 were found in the PSA group.
CONCLUSION: More contacts yielding an optimal effect were found in the PSA group than in the Vim. Many patients operated on in the Vim got the best effect from a contact located in the PSA. This might suggest that the PSA is a more efficient target than the Vim.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery is used for treating movement disorders, including Parkinson disease, essential tremor, and dystonia. Successful DBS surgery is critically dependent on precise placement of DBS electrodes into target structures. Frequently, DBS surgery relies on normalized atlas-derived diagrams that are superimposed on patient brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, followed by microelectrode recording and macrostimulation to refine the ultimate electrode position. Microelectrode recording carries a risk of hemorrhage and requires active patient participation during surgery.
OBJECTIVE: To enhance anatomic imaging for DBS surgery using high-field MRI with the ultimate goal of improving the accuracy of anatomic target selection.
METHODS: Using a 7-T MRI scanner combined with an array of acquisition schemes using multiple image contrasts, we obtained high-resolution images of human deep nuclei in healthy subjects.
RESULTS: Superior image resolution and contrast obtained at 7 T in vivo using susceptibility-weighted imaging dramatically improved anatomic delineation of DBS targets and allowed the identification of internal architecture within these targets. A patient-specific, 3-dimensional model of each target area was generated on the basis of the acquired images.
CONCLUSION: Technical developments in MRI at 7 T have yielded improved anatomic resolution of deep brain structures, thereby holding the promise of improving anatomicbased targeting for DBS surgery. Future study is needed to validate this technique in improving the accuracy of targeting in DBS surgery.
Bilateral globus pallidus internus (GPi) deep brain stimulation (DBS) was shown to be effective in cervical dystonia refractory to medical treatment in several small short-term and 1 long-term follow-up series. Optimal stimulation parameters and their repercussions on the cost/benefit ratio still need to be established.
OBJECTIVE: To report our long-term outcome with bilateral GPi deep brain stimulation in cervical dystonia.
METHODS: The Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale was evaluated in 10 consecutive patients preoperatively and at last follow-up. The relationship of improvement in postural severity and pain was analyzed and stimulation parameters noted and compared with those in a similar series in the literature.
RESULTS: The mean (standard deviation) follow-up was 37.6 (16.9) months. Improvement in the total Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale score as evaluated at latest follow-up was 68.1% (95% confidence interval: 51.5-84.6). In 4 patients, there was dissociation between posture severity and pain improvement. Prevalently bipolar stimulation settings and high pulse widths and amplitudes led to excellent results at the expense of battery life.
CONCLUSION: Improvement in all 3 subscale scores of the Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale with bilateral GPi deep brain stimulation seems to be the rule. Refinement of stimulation parameters might have a significant impact on the cost/ benefit ratio of the treatment. The dissociation of improvement in posture severity and pain provides tangible evidence of the complex nature of cervical dystonia and offers interesting insight into the complex functional organization of the GPi.
The safe and reversible nature of deep brain stimulation (DBS) has allowed movement disorder neurosurgery to become commonplace throughout the world. Fundamental understanding of individual patient’s anatomy is critical for optimizing the effects and side effects of DBS surgery. Three patients undergoing stereotactic surgery for movement disorders, at the institution’s intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging operating suite, were studied with fiber tractography. Stereotactic targets and fiber tractography were determined on preoperative magnetic resonance imagings using the Schaltenbrand–Wahren atlas for definition in the BrainLab iPlan software (BrainLAB Inc., Feldkirchen, Germany). Subthalamic nucleus, globus pallidus interna, and ventral intermediate nucleus targets were studied. Diffusion tensor imaging parameters used ranged from 2 to 8 mm for volume of interest in the x/y/z planes, fiber length was kept constant at 30 mm, and fractional anisotropy threshold varied from 0.20 to 0.45. Diffusion tensor imaging tractography allowed reliable and reproducible visualization and correlation between frontal eye field, premotor, primary motor, and primary sensory cortices via corticospinal tracts and corticopontocerebellar tracts. There is an apparent increase in the number of cortical regions targeted by the fiber tracts as the region of interest is enlarged. This represents a possible mechanism of the increased effects and side effects observed with higher stimulation voltages. Currently available diffusion tensor imaging techniques allow potential methods to characterize the effects and side effects of DBS. This technology has the potential of being a powerful tool to optimize DBS neurosurgery
The authors critically analyzed a large series of patients with hemifacial spasm (HFS) and who underwent microvascular decompression (MVD) under a prospective protocol. We describe several “lessons learned” that are required for achieving successful surgery and proper postoperative management.
The purpose of this study is to report on our experience during the previous 10 years with this procedure and we also discuss various related topics.
From April 1997 to June 2009, over 1,200 consecutive patients underwent MVD for HFS. Among them, 1,174 patients who underwent MVD for HFS with a minimum 1 year follow-up were enrolled in the study. The median follow-up period was 3.5 years (range, 1-9.3 years). Based on the operative and medical records, the intraoperative findings and the postoperative outcomes were obtained and then analyzed. At the 1- year follow-up examination, 1,105 (94.1%) patients of the total 1,174 patients exhibited a “cured” state, and 69 (5.9%) patients had residual spasms. In all the patients, the major postoperative complications included transient hearing loss in 31 (2.6%), permanent hearing loss in 13 (1.1%), transient facial weakness in 86 (7.3%), permanent facial weakness in 9 (0.7%), cerebrospinal fluid leak in three (0.25%) and cerebellar infarction or hemorrhage in two (0.17%). There were no operative deaths.
Microvascular decompression is a very effective, safe modality of treatment for hemifacial spasm. MVD is not sophisticated surgery, but having a basic understanding of the surgical procedures is required to achieve successful surgery
Parkinson disease (PD) is often accompanied by various postural abnormalities such as camptocormia (bent spine) or Pisa syndrome (lateral flexion). The authors studied the effect of subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN DBS) on postural abnormality in patients with PD.
Methods. The authors retrospectively reviewed the clinical course of 18 patients who suffered from significant postural abnormality and underwent bilateral STN DBS. Patients whose preoperative posture score (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale III, item 28) was 2 or more in the “medication-on” state were enrolled in this study. Eight patients were considered to have camptocormia, and 10 patients were considered to have so-called Pisa syndrome. Nine patients showed apparent thoracolumbar spinal deformity on radiography. Most patients had significant motor fluctuations from levodopa.
Results. In 13 patients with moderate postural abnormality (score of 2 on item 28), 9 patients improved soon after surgery, but 1 patient relapsed. Two patients improved gradually over a long period after surgery, whereas 2 patients did not improve at all. In 5 patients with severe postural abnormality (score of 3 or 4 on item 28), 2 patients improved slightly in the long-term follow-up period after surgery, but 3 patients did not improve at all.
Conclusions. Postural abnormality in patients with PD could be ameliorated by STN DBS, and therefore surgery should be considered before irreversible spinal deformity develops
The authors describe a method for placement of deep brain stimulator electrodes using interventional MRI in conjunction with a skull-mounted aiming device (Medtronic Nexframe). This approach adapts the procedure to a standard-configuration 1.5-T diagnostic MRI scanner in a radiology suite. Preoperative imaging, device implantation, and postimplantation MRI are integrated into a single procedure performed under general anesthesia, providing real-time, high-resolution magnetic resonance confirmation of electrode position. The method is conceptually simpler than the current standard technique for deep brain stimulator placement, as it eliminates the stereotactic frame, the subsequent requirement for registration of the brain in stereotactic space, physiologic testing, and the need for patient cooperation. With further technical refinement, the interventional MRI method should improve the accuracy, safety, and speed of deep brain stimulator electrode placement.
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