Research Insights

Theoretical analysis of the local field potential in deep brain stimulation applications.

Lempka SF, McIntyre CC Theoretical analysis of the local field potential in deep brain stimulation applications. , PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59839. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059839. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Intro:  Many things are not known about the cause of the debilitating motor symptoms seen in Parkinson’s disease (PD), but it is known that the basal ganglia is very involved.  Many things are also not known about why deep brain stimulation (DBS) works to reduce motoric symptoms of PD.  The goal of this study was to look closer at the electrical systems of the basal ganglia, specifically the subthalamic nucleus (STN), regarding etiology and understanding of motoric symptoms as well as to evaluate the DBS device in interacting with and measuring that system.

Methods:Complex theoretical computational models were created simulating PD as well as the DBS device based on various known factors about both (e.g. electrical amplitudes, different types of tissue, etc.).

Conclusion:  The model created by the authors provided significant very detailed information about multiple aspects of recording models within the electrical system of the STN in PD.  This study provides very technical information for a variety of people involved in the treatment of PD such as those completing surgery, creating stimulators, etc. but it is notable that it is very challenging to represent the complexities of the brain and its vast neural network on a computer.  Although this study didn’t utilize human subjects, studies such as this one are helping to get one-step closer to fully advance the understanding of this disease at such a detailed technical level as well as evaluating the therapeutic intervention without causing any adverse events in a person with PD (PWP).

This article was available free at the time of this write up.  Click here and then click on the blue “Open access to full text PLOS/One” or “Free in PMC free full-text archive” buttons in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Click here to read the abstract.

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