Background: Local field potentials (LFPs) represent the summation of periodic (oscillations) and aperiodic (fractal) signals. Although previous studies showed changes in beta band oscillations and burst characteristics of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in Parkinson's disease (PD), how aperiodic activity in the STN is related to PD pathophysiology is unknown.
Objectives: The study aimed to characterize the long-term effects of STN-deep brain stimulation (DBS) and dopaminergic medications on aperiodic activities and beta bursts.
Methods: A total of 10 patients with PD participated in this longitudinal study. Simultaneous bilateral STN-LFP recordings were conducted in six separate visits during a period of 18 months using the Activa PC + S device in the off and on dopaminergic medication states. We used irregular-resampling auto-spectral analysis to separate oscillations and aperiodic components (exponent and offset) in the power spectrum of STN-LFP signals in beta band.
Results: Our results revealed a systematic increase in both the exponent and the offset of the aperiodic spectrum over 18 months following the DBS implantation, independent of the dopaminergic medication state of patients with PD. In contrast, beta burst durations and amplitudes were stable over time and were suppressed by dopaminergic medications.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that oscillations and aperiodic activities reflect at least partially distinct yet complementary neural mechanisms, which should be considered in the design of robust biomarkers to optimize adaptive DBS. Given the link between increased gamma-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) transmission and higher aperiodic activity, our findings suggest that long-term STN-DBS may relate to increased inhibition in the basal ganglia. © 2022 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
Keywords: Parkinson's disease; aperiodic activity; beta burst; deep brain stimulation; local field potential.
© 2022 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.