Scientific article

Subthalamic nucleus stimulation affects limbic and associative circuits: a PET study

Published inEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, vol. 37, no. 8, p. 1512-1520
Publication date2010

Purpose Although high-frequency deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN DBS) improves motor symptoms in advanced Parkinson's disease (PD), clinical studies have reported cognitive, motivational and emotional changes. These results suggest that the STN forms part of a broadly distributed neural network encompassing the associative and limbic circuits. We sought to pinpoint the cortical and subcortical brain areas modulated by STN DBS, in order to assess the STN's functional role and explain neuropsychological modifications following STN DBS in PD. Methods We studied resting state glucose metabolism in 20 PD patients before and after STN DBS and 13 age-matched healthy controls using 18F-FDG PET. We used statistical analysis (SPM2) first to compare pre-stimulation metabolism in PD patients with metabolism in healthy controls, then to study metabolic modifications in PD patients following STN DBS. Results The first analysis revealed no pre-stimulation metabolic abnormalities in associative or limbic circuitry. After STN DBS, metabolic modifications were found in several regions known for their involvement in the limbic and associative circuits. Conclusion These metabolic results confirm the STN's central role in associative and limbic basal ganglia circuits. They will provide information for working hypotheses for future studies investigating neuropsychological changes and metabolic modifications related to STN DBS, with a view to improving our knowledge of this structure's functional role.

  • Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation
  • 18F-FDG PET. Parkinson's disease
  • Limbic system
  • Associative circuit
Citation (ISO format)
LE JEUNE, Florence et al. Subthalamic nucleus stimulation affects limbic and associative circuits: a PET study. In: European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 2010, vol. 37, n° 8, p. 1512–1520. doi: 10.1007/s00259-010-1436-y
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1619-7070

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