Deep brain stimulation effect on anterior pallidum reduces motor impulsivity in Parkinson's disease.

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Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus or globus pallidus internus is used to treat the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

The former can worsen impulsive and compulsive behaviors after controlling for the reduction of dopaminergic medications. However, the effect of pallidal DBS on such behaviors in PD patients is less clear.

The authors hypothesized that greater stimulation spread to the pallidum with prefrontal connectivity would reduce motor impulsivity.

Seven Parkinson's patients with stable globus pallidus internus DBS settings for 3 months, disease duration of 13 ± 1.3 years, and Montreal Cognitive Assessment of 26.8 ± 1.1 each had two stimulation settings defined based on reconstructions of lead placement and volume of tissue activation targeting either a dorsal or ventral position along the DBS electrode but still within the globus pallidus internus.

Subjects performed a stop signal reaction time task with the DBS turned off vs. on in each of the defined stimulation settings, which was correlated with the degree of stimulation effect on pallidal subregions.

Results: A shorter distance between the volume of tissue activation and the right prefrontally-connected GPi correlated with less impulsivity on the stop signal reaction time task (r = 0.69, p < 0.05). Greater volume of tissue activation overlap with the non-prefrontally-connected globus pallidus internus was associated with increased impulsivity.

Conclusion: These data can be leveraged to optimize DBS programming in PD patients with problematic impulsivity or in other disorders involving impulsive behaviors such as substance use disorders.disorders involving impulsive behaviors such as substance use disorders.

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