Deep brain stimulation of the internal globus pallidus (GPi) is a major treatment for advanced Parkinson's disease. The effects of this intervention on electrical activity patterns in targets of GPi output, specifically in the thalamus, are poorly understood. The experiments described here examined these effects using electrophysiologic recordings in two Rhesus monkeys rendered moderately parkinsonian through treatment with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), after sampling control data in the same animals. Analysis of spontaneous spiking activity of neurons in the basal ganglia-receiving areas of the ventral thalamus showed that MPTP-induced parkinsonism is associated with a reduction of firing rates of segments of the data that contained neither bursts nor decelerations, and with increased burst firing. Spectral analyses revealed an increase of power in the 3-13 Hz band and a reduction in the gamma-range in the spiking activity of these neurons. Electrical stimulation of the ventrolateral motor territory of GPi with macroelectrodes, mimicking deep brain stimulation in parkinsonian patients (bipolar electrodes, 0.5 mm inter-contact distance, biphasic stimuli, 120 Hz, 100µs/phase, 200 µA), had antiparkinsonian effects. The stimulation markedly reduced oscillations in thalamic firing in the 13-30 Hz range, and uncoupled the spiking activity of recorded neurons from simultaneously recorded local field potential (LFP) activity. These results confirm that oscillatory and non-oscillatory characteristics of spontaneous activity in the basal ganglia receiving ventral thalamus are altered in MPTP-induced parkinsonism. Electrical stimulation of GPi did not entrain thalamic activity, but changed oscillatory activity in the ventral thalamus and altered the relationship between spikes and simultaneously recorded LFPs.
- internal pallidal segment
- deep brain stimulation
- Copyright © 2016, Journal of Neurophysiology