Intra-operative behavioral tasks in awake humans undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery

John T. Gale, Clarissa Martinez-Rubio, Sameer A. Sheth, Emad N. Eskandar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a surgical procedure that directs chronic, high frequency electrical stimulation to specific targets in the brain through implanted electrodes. Deep brain stimulation was first implemented as a therapeutic modality by Benabid et al. in the late 1980s, when he used this technique to stimulate the ventral intermediate nucleus of the thalamus for the treatment of tremor. Currently, the procedure is used to treat patients who fail to respond adequately to medical management for diseases such as Parkinson's, dystonia, and essential tremor. The efficacy of this procedure for the treatment of Parkinson's disease has been demonstrated in well-powered, randomized controlled trials. Presently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved DBS as a treatment for patients with medically refractory essential tremor, Parkinson's disease, and dystonia. Additionally, DBS is currently being evaluated for the treatment of other psychiatric and neurological disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, major depressive disorder, and epilepsy. DBS has not only been shown to help people by improving their quality of life, it also provides researchers with the unique opportunity to study and understand the human brain. Microelectrode recordings are routinely performed during DBS surgery in order to enhance the precision of anatomical targeting. Firing patterns of individual neurons can therefore be recorded while the subject performs a behavioral task. Early studies using these data focused on descriptive aspects, including firing and burst rates, and frequency modulation. More recent studies have focused on cognitive aspects of behavior in relation to neuronal activity. This article will provide a description of the intra-operative methods used to perform behavioral tasks and record neuronal data with awake patients during DBS cases. Our exposition of the process of acquiring electrophysiological data will illuminate the current scope and limitations of intra-operative human experiments. 2011 Journal of Visualized Experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2156
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number47
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Intra-Operative Physiology
  • Issue 47
  • Medicine
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Single-Unit Activity
  • Subthalamic Nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

Cite this