Deep brain stimulation (DBS) holds great promise in treating various brain diseases but its chronic therapeutic mechanisms are unclear.
To explore the immediate and chronic effects of DBS on brain oscillations, and understand how different sub-bands of oscillations contribute to symptom improvement in Parkinson’s patients.
We carried out a longitudinal study to examine the effects of DBS on local field potentials recorded by sensing-enabled neurostimulators in the subthalamic nuclei of Parkinson’s patients, using a novel block-designed stimulation paradigm.
DBS significantly suppressed beta activity (13∼35Hz) but the suppression effect appeared to gradually attenuate during a 6 months follow-up period after surgery (p=0.002). While the responses to stimulation decreased from month 1 to month 6, the spontaneous beta activity was unchanged (p>0.266). Moreover, beta suppression did not show a habituation effect after repeated stimulation over several minutes (p>0.110), suggesting that the changes in beta suppression may reflect a slow reconfiguration of neural pathways instead of habituation. Suppression of beta was also associated with clinical symptom improvement. Importantly, symptom-relevant features fell within the high beta band at month 1 but shifted to the low beta band at month 6, indicating that the high beta and the low beta oscillations may play different functional roles and respond differently to stimulation over the long-term treatment.
These data may advance understanding of chronic DBS effects on beta oscillations and their association with clinical improvement, offering novel insights to the therapeutic mechanisms of DBS.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.