Objective To test the hypothesis suggested by previous studies that subthalamic nucleus (STN) deep brain stimulation (DBS) in patients with Parkinson disease would affect the activity of motor and nonmotor networks, we applied intraoperative functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to patients receiving DBS. Patients and Methods Ten patients receiving STN DBS for Parkinson disease underwent intraoperative 1.5-T fMRI during high-frequency stimulation delivered via an external pulse generator. The study was conducted between January 1, 2013, and September 30, 2014. Results We observed blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes (false discovery rate <0.001) in the motor circuitry (including the primary motor, premotor, and supplementary motor cortices; thalamus; pedunculopontine nucleus; and cerebellum) and in the limbic circuitry (including the cingulate and insular cortices). Activation of the motor network was observed also after applying a Bonferroni correction (P<.001) to the data set, suggesting that across patients, BOLD changes in the motor circuitry are more consistent compared with those occurring in the nonmotor network. Conclusion These findings support the modulatory role of STN DBS on the activity of motor and nonmotor networks and suggest complex mechanisms as the basis of the efficacy of this treatment modality. Furthermore, these results suggest that across patients, BOLD changes in the motor circuitry are more consistent than those in the nonmotor network. With further studies combining the use of real-time intraoperative fMRI with clinical outcomes in patients treated with DBS, functional imaging techniques have the potential not only to elucidate the mechanisms of DBS functioning but also to guide and assist in the surgical treatment of patients affected by movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01809613.
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