Dopaminergic Modulation of Spectral and Spatial Characteristics of Parkinsonian Subthalamic Nucleus Beta Bursts

Front Neurosci. 2021 Nov 11;15:724334. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.724334. eCollection 2021.


In Parkinson's disease (PD), subthalamic nucleus (STN) beta burst activity is pathologically elevated. These bursts are reduced by dopamine and deep brain stimulation (DBS). Therefore, these bursts have been tested as a trigger for closed-loop DBS. To provide better targeted parameters for closed-loop stimulation, we investigate the spatial distribution of beta bursts within the STN and if they are specific to a beta sub-band. Local field potentials (LFP) were acquired in the STN of 27 PD patients while resting. Based on the orientation of segmented DBS electrodes, the LFPs were classified as anterior, postero-medial, and postero-lateral. Each recording lasted 30 min with (ON) and without (OFF) dopamine. Bursts were detected in three frequency bands: ±3 Hz around the individual beta peak frequency, low beta band (lBB), and high beta band (hBB). Medication reduced the duration and the number of bursts per minute but not the amplitude of the beta bursts. The burst amplitude was spatially modulated, while the burst duration and rate were frequency dependent. Furthermore, the hBB burst duration was positively correlated with the akinetic-rigid UPDRS III subscore. Overall, these findings on differential dopaminergic modulation of beta burst parameters suggest that hBB burst duration is a promising target for closed-loop stimulation and that burst parameters could guide DBS programming.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; beta bursts; closed-loop DBS; directional leads; local field potentials.