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Subthalamic stimulation influences postmovement cortical somatosensory processing in Parkinson's disease


: Dr David Devos, Hôpital R. Salengro, Clinique Neurologique, CHRU, F-59037 Lille cedex, France.


In Parkinson's disease, poor motor performance (resulting primarily from abnormal cortical activation during movement preparation and execution) may also be due to impaired sensorimotor integration and defective cortical activity termination of the ongoing movement, thus delaying preparation of the following one. Reduced movement-related synchronization of the beta rhythm in Parkinson's disease compared to controls has been put forward as evidence for impaired postmovement cortical deactivation. We assessed the effects of subthalamic deep brain stimulation and l-dopa on beta rhythm synchronization over the premotor and primary sensorimotor cortex. Ten advanced patients performed self-paced wrist flexion in four conditions according to the presence or not of stimulation and l-dopa. Compared to without treatment, the motor score improved by ≈ 60%; the beta synchronization was present over the contralateral frontocentral region and increased significantly over the contralateral central region under stimulation and under l-dopa, with a maximal effect when both treatments were associated. Our advanced patients displayed very focused and attenuated beta rhythm synchronization which, under stimulation, increased over the contralateral premotor and primary sensorimotor cortex. Stimulation and l-dopa both partly restored postmovement cortical deactivation in advanced Parkinson's disease, although the respective mechanisms probably differ. They may improve bradykinesia and cortical deactivation by reestablishing movement-related somatosensory processing at the end of the movement through the basal ganglia into the cortex.