We used 15O-labeled water (H215O) positron emission tomography (PET) to study eight Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with unilateral ventral intermediate (Vim) thalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (DBS) for severe tremor. Triaxial accelerometry (TRIAX) was used during imaging to obtain on-line measures of tremor characteristics. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) scans together with TRIAX recordings were collected in three stimulation conditions (OFF, MID, and ON, corresponding, respectively, to 0%, 50%, and 100% reductions in mean accelerometry signal). Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM99) revealed significant rCBF reductions during stimulation in the ipsilateral sensorimotor cortex (SMC) and the contralateral cerebellum, as well as concurrent increases in the ipsilateral ventral thalamus (P < 0.05, corrected). Covariate analysis of rCBF with physiological tremor characteristics revealed that tremor acceleration correlated positively with changes in the SMC and supplementary motor cortex ipsilaterally (P < 0.05, uncorrected), and negatively with changes in the ipsilateral cuneus (P < 0.05, corrected). After removing tremor acceleration effects, changes in tremor frequency correlated negatively with changes in the contralateral dentate nucleus and pons (P < 0.05, uncorrected). Our results suggest that Vim DBS for PD tremor modulates the activity of cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathways. Specific tremor characteristics relate to activity in different nodes of this system.
- Cerebral blood flow
- Parkinson's disease