Effect of stimulation in the ventral intermediate nucleus of the thalamus on limb control in parkinson7apos;s disease: A case study



This study focuses on upper extremity strength and movement control in a patient with Parkinson's disease who had stimulating electrodes surgically implanted in the ventral intermediate nucleus (VIM) of the left thalamus. We examined torque generation and control of movements distance in single degree-of-freedom elbow movements under three different stimulation conditions: (a)no stimulation, (b)high stimulation, in which tremor was minimized but there was also tingling and perceived weakness, and (c) moderate stimulation, in which tremor was partially reduced, but there was also a subjective sense of increased strength compared with the high-stimulation condition. The patient's ability to generate both steady torque and rapid movements was poorest with no stimulation. The patient generated the largest torque with moderate stimulation and performed the fastest movements with high stimulation. However, even with tremor minimized, the patient's electromyogram (EMG) burst patterns were not typical of those of neurologically healthy subjects, although the movements were clearly improved.