Oscillatory beta dynamics inform biomarker-driven treatment optimization for Parkinson's disease

J Neurophysiol. 2023 Jun 1;129(6):1492-1504. doi: 10.1152/jn.00055.2023. Epub 2023 May 17.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of dopaminergic neurons and dysregulation of the basal ganglia. Cardinal motor symptoms include bradykinesia, rigidity, and tremor. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of select subcortical nuclei is standard of care for medication-refractory PD. Conventional open-loop DBS delivers continuous stimulation with fixed parameters that do not account for a patient's dynamic activity state or medication cycle. In comparison, closed-loop DBS, or adaptive DBS (aDBS), adjusts stimulation based on biomarker feedback that correlates with clinical state. Recent work has identified several neurophysiological biomarkers in local field potential recordings from PD patients, the most promising of which are 1) elevated beta (∼13-30 Hz) power in the subthalamic nucleus (STN), 2) increased beta synchrony throughout basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuits, notably observed as coupling between the STN beta phase and cortical broadband gamma (∼50-200 Hz) amplitude, and 3) prolonged beta bursts in the STN and cortex. In this review, we highlight relevant frequency and time domain features of STN beta measured in PD patients and summarize how spectral beta power, oscillatory beta synchrony, phase-amplitude coupling, and temporal beta bursting inform PD pathology, neurosurgical targeting, and DBS therapy. We then review how STN beta dynamics inform predictive, biomarker-driven aDBS approaches for optimizing PD treatment. We therefore provide clinically useful and actionable insight that can be applied toward aDBS implementation for PD.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; beta frequency; biomarkers; closed-loop aDBS; deep brain stimulation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Basal Ganglia
  • Beta Rhythm
  • Deep Brain Stimulation*
  • Humans
  • Parkinson Disease* / therapy
  • Subthalamic Nucleus*
  • Tremor / therapy