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The structural connectivity of subthalamic deep brain stimulation correlates with impulsivity in Parkinson’s disease


Mosley, Philip E; Paliwal, Saee; Robinson, Katherine; Coyne, Terry; Silburn, Peter; Tittgemeyer, Marc; Stephan, Klaas E; Perry, Alistair; Breakspear, Michael (2020). The structural connectivity of subthalamic deep brain stimulation correlates with impulsivity in Parkinson’s disease. Brain: a journal of neurology, 143(7):2235-2254.

Abstract

Subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) for Parkinson's disease treats motor symptoms and improves quality of life, but can be complicated by adverse neuropsychiatric side-effects, including impulsivity. Several clinically important questions remain unclear: can 'at-risk' patients be identified prior to DBS; do neuropsychiatric symptoms relate to the distribution of the stimulation field; and which brain networks are responsible for the evolution of these symptoms? Using a comprehensive neuropsychiatric battery and a virtual casino to assess impulsive behaviour in a naturalistic fashion, 55 patients with Parkinson's disease (19 females, mean age 62, mean Hoehn and Yahr stage 2.6) were assessed prior to STN-DBS and 3 months postoperatively. Reward evaluation and response inhibition networks were reconstructed with probabilistic tractography using the participant-specific subthalamic volume of activated tissue as a seed. We found that greater connectivity of the stimulation site with these frontostriatal networks was related to greater postoperative impulsiveness and disinhibition as assessed by the neuropsychiatric instruments. Larger bet sizes in the virtual casino postoperatively were associated with greater connectivity of the stimulation site with right and left orbitofrontal cortex, right ventromedial prefrontal cortex and left ventral striatum. For all assessments, the baseline connectivity of reward evaluation and response inhibition networks prior to STN-DBS was not associated with postoperative impulsivity; rather, these relationships were only observed when the stimulation field was incorporated. This suggests that the site and distribution of stimulation is a more important determinant of postoperative neuropsychiatric outcomes than preoperative brain structure and that stimulation acts to mediate impulsivity through differential recruitment of frontostriatal networks. Notably, a distinction could be made amongst participants with clinically-significant, harmful changes in mood and behaviour attributable to DBS, based upon an analysis of connectivity and its relationship with gambling behaviour. Additional analyses suggested that this distinction may be mediated by the differential involvement of fibres connecting ventromedial subthalamic nucleus and orbitofrontal cortex. These findings identify a mechanistic substrate of neuropsychiatric impairment after STN-DBS and suggest that tractography could be used to predict the incidence of adverse neuropsychiatric effects. Clinically, these results highlight the importance of accurate electrode placement and careful stimulation titration in the prevention of neuropsychiatric side-effects after STN-DBS.

Abstract

Subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) for Parkinson's disease treats motor symptoms and improves quality of life, but can be complicated by adverse neuropsychiatric side-effects, including impulsivity. Several clinically important questions remain unclear: can 'at-risk' patients be identified prior to DBS; do neuropsychiatric symptoms relate to the distribution of the stimulation field; and which brain networks are responsible for the evolution of these symptoms? Using a comprehensive neuropsychiatric battery and a virtual casino to assess impulsive behaviour in a naturalistic fashion, 55 patients with Parkinson's disease (19 females, mean age 62, mean Hoehn and Yahr stage 2.6) were assessed prior to STN-DBS and 3 months postoperatively. Reward evaluation and response inhibition networks were reconstructed with probabilistic tractography using the participant-specific subthalamic volume of activated tissue as a seed. We found that greater connectivity of the stimulation site with these frontostriatal networks was related to greater postoperative impulsiveness and disinhibition as assessed by the neuropsychiatric instruments. Larger bet sizes in the virtual casino postoperatively were associated with greater connectivity of the stimulation site with right and left orbitofrontal cortex, right ventromedial prefrontal cortex and left ventral striatum. For all assessments, the baseline connectivity of reward evaluation and response inhibition networks prior to STN-DBS was not associated with postoperative impulsivity; rather, these relationships were only observed when the stimulation field was incorporated. This suggests that the site and distribution of stimulation is a more important determinant of postoperative neuropsychiatric outcomes than preoperative brain structure and that stimulation acts to mediate impulsivity through differential recruitment of frontostriatal networks. Notably, a distinction could be made amongst participants with clinically-significant, harmful changes in mood and behaviour attributable to DBS, based upon an analysis of connectivity and its relationship with gambling behaviour. Additional analyses suggested that this distinction may be mediated by the differential involvement of fibres connecting ventromedial subthalamic nucleus and orbitofrontal cortex. These findings identify a mechanistic substrate of neuropsychiatric impairment after STN-DBS and suggest that tractography could be used to predict the incidence of adverse neuropsychiatric effects. Clinically, these results highlight the importance of accurate electrode placement and careful stimulation titration in the prevention of neuropsychiatric side-effects after STN-DBS.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Neurology (clinical)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Clinical Neurology
Language:English
Date:1 July 2020
Deposited On:07 Jan 2021 16:16
Last Modified:08 Jan 2021 21:01
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0006-8950
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa148
PubMed ID:32568370

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