Modeling mechanisms of tremor reduction for essential tremor using symmetric biphasic DBS [article]

Shane Lee, Wael F Asaad, Stephanie R Jones
2019 bioRxiv   pre-print
AbstractEssential tremor (ET) is the most common movement disorder, in which the primary symptom is a prominent, involuntary 4–10 Hz movement. For severe, medication refractory cases, deep brain stimulation (DBS) targeting the ventral intermediate nucleus of the thalamus (VIM) can be an effective treatment for cessation of tremor and is thought to work in part by disrupting tremor frequency oscillations (TFOs) in VIM. However, DBS is not universally effective and may be further disrupting
more » ... llar-mediated activity in the VIM. Here, we applied biophysically detailed computational modeling to investigate whether the efficacy of DBS is affected by the mechanism of generation of TFOs or by the pattern of stimulation. We simulated the effects of DBS using standard, asymmetric pulses as well as biphasic, symmetric pulses to understand biophysical mechanisms of how DBS disrupts TFOs generated either extrinsically or intrinsically. The model results suggested that the efficacy of DBS in the VIM is affected by the mechanism of generation of TFOs. Symmetric biphasic DBS reduced TFOs more than standard DBS in both networks, and these effects were stronger in the intrinsic network. For intrinsic tremor frequency activity, symmetric biphasic DBS was more effective at reducing TFOs. Simulated non-tremor signals were also transmitted during symmetric biphasic DBS, suggesting that this type of DBS may help to reduce side effects caused by disruption of the cerebellothalamocortical pathway. Biophysical details in the model provided a mechanistic interpretation of the cellular and network dynamics contributing to these effects that can be empirically tested in future studies.Significance StatementEssential tremor (ET) is a common movement disorder, whose primary symptom is an involuntary rhythmic movement of the limbs or head. An area of the human tha-lamus demonstrates electrical activity that oscillates at the frequencies of tremor, and deep brain stimulation (DBS) in this area can reduce tremor. It is not fully understood how DBS affects tremor frequency activity in the thalamus, and studying different patterns of DBS stimulation may help to clarify these mechanisms. We created a computational model of different shapes of DBS and studied how they reduce different hypothesized generators of tremor frequency activity. A greater understanding of how DBS affects the thalamus may lead to improved treatments to reduce tremor and alleviate side effects in patients with ET.
doi:10.1101/585117 fatcat:czdyroekbfhnpi2mzjnywn2c7e