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Effects of antidromic and orthodromic activation of STN afferent axons during DBS in Parkinson's disease: a simulation study

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Refereed Original Article
Recent studies suggest that subthalamic nucleus (STN)-Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) may exert at least part of its therapeutic effect through the antidromic suppression of pathological oscillations in the cortex in 6-OHDA treated rats and in parkinsonian patients. STN-DBS may also activate STN neurons by initiating action potential propagation in the orthodromic direction, similarly resulting in suppression of pathological oscillations in the STN. While experimental studies have provided strong evidence in support of antidromic stimulation of cortical neurons, it is difficult to separate relative contributions of antidromic and orthodromic effects of STN-DBS. The aim of this computational study was to examine the effects of antidromic and orthodromic activation on neural firing patterns and beta-band (13-30Hz) oscillations in the STN and cortex during DBS of STN afferent axons projecting from the cortex. High frequency antidromic stimulation alone effectively suppressed simulated beta activity in both the cortex and STN-globus pallidus externa (GPe) network. High frequency orthodromic stimulation similarly suppressed beta activity within the STN and GPe through the direct stimulation of STN neurons driven by DBS at the same frequency as the stimulus. The combined effect of both antidromic and orthodromic stimulation modulated cortical activity antidromically while simultaneously orthodromically driving STN neurons. While high frequency DBS reduced STN beta-band power, low frequency stimulation resulted in resonant effects, increasing beta-band activity, consistent with previous experimental observations. The simulation results indicate effective suppression of simulated oscillatory activity through both antidromic stimulation of cortical neurons and direct orthodromic stimulation of STN neurons. The results of the study agree with experimental recordings of STN and cortical neurons in rats and support the therapeutic potential of stimulation of cortical neurons
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Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience
Research Group: 
National University of Ireland, Dublin (UCD)
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