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Keywords:

  • thalamus;
  • local field potentials;
  • Tourette syndrome;
  • deep brain stimulation

Abstract

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the ventralis oralis (VO) complex of the thalamus improves tics in patients with Tourette syndrome (TS). To neurophysiologically describe the VO complex we recorded, in seven patients with TS undergoing DBS electrode implantation, single-unit activity during surgery and local field potentials (LFPs) a few days after surgery. Single unit recordings showed that the VO complex is characterized by a localized pattern of bursting neuronal activity. LFP spectra demonstrated that VO of TS patients has a prominent oscillatory activity at low frequencies (2–7 Hz) and in the α-band (8–13 Hz), and a virtually absent beta activity. In each patient, the main LFP frequency significantly correlated with single-unit interburst frequency. In conclusion, we observed an oscillatory bursting activity in the VO as target region in patients with severe TS undergoing DBS surgery. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society