Deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy for essential tremor and parkinsonian tremor has proved quite successful.
Patients with ET treated with deep brain stimulation (DBS) with stimulation-induced dysarthria (SID), individualized current-shaping with interleaving stimulation (cs-ILS) reduces dysarthria while maintaining tremor control 1).
Drug-resistant essential tremor (ET) can benefit from open standard stereotactic procedures, such as deep-brain stimulation or radiofrequency thalamotomy. Non-surgical candidates can be offered either high-focused ultrasound (HIFU) or radiosurgery (RS). All procedures aim to target the same thalamic site, the ventro-intermediate nucleus (e.g., Vim). The mechanisms by which tremor stops after Vim RS or HIFU remain unknown. We used voxel-based morphometry (VBM) on pretherapeutic neuroimaging data and assessed which anatomical site would best correlate with tremor arrest 1 year after Vim RS.
Fifty-two patients (30 male, 22 female; mean age 71.6 years, range 49-82) with right-sided ET benefited from left unilateral Vim RS in Marseille, France. Targeting was performed in a uniform manner, using 130 Gy and a single 4-mm collimator. Neurological (pretherapeutic and 1 year after) and neuroimaging (baseline) assessments were completed. Tremor score on the treated hand (TSTH) at 1 year after Vim RS was included in a statistical parametric mapping analysis of variance (ANOVA) model as a continuous variable with pretherapeutic neuroimaging data. Pretherapeutic gray matter density (GMD) was further correlated with TSTH improvement. No a priori hypothesis was used in the statistical model.
The only statistically significant region was right Brodmann area (BA) 18 (visual association area V2, p = 0.05, cluster size Kc = 71). Higher baseline GMD correlated with better TSTH improvement at 1 year after Vim RS (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient = 0.002).
Routine baseline structural neuroimaging predicts TSTH improvement 1 year after Vim RS. The relevant anatomical area is the right visual association cortex (BA 18, V2). The question whether visual areas should be included in the targeting remains open 2).
A cohort of 24 essential tremor patients before and 3 months after unilateral transcranial magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound targeting at the posteroventral part of the VIM. Microstructural changes along the dentatorubrothalamic tract (DRTT) were quantified by means of probabilistic tractography, and later related to the clinical improvement of the patients at 3-months and at 1-year after the intervention. In addition the changes along two neighboring tracts, that is, the corticospinal tract and the medial lemniscus, were assessed, as well as the relation between these changes and the presence of side effects. Thalamic lesions produced local and distant alterations along the trajectory of the DRTT, and each correlated with clinical improvement. Regarding side effects, gait imbalance after thalamotomy was associated with greater impact on the DRTT, whereas the presence of paresthesias was significantly related to a higher overlap between the lesion and the medial lemniscus. This work represents the largest series describing the microstructural changes following transcranial MR-guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy in essential tremor. These results suggest that clinical benefits are specific for the impact on the cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathway, thus reaffirming the potential of tractography to aid thalamotomy targeting 3).
A total of 33 patients evaluated in Medtronic, Vasteras, Sweden,Medtronic, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Unit of Functional and Stereotactic Neurosurgery, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience, Umeå University, Neurosurgery, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.(37 leads) treated with DBS were evaluated with the Essential Tremor Rating Assessment Scale (ETRS) 12 months after surgery. In addition, hand tremor and hand function (ETRS items 5/6 and 11-14) were evaluated for every contact during stimulation with best possible outcome without inducing side effects. Prediction of effective DBS electrode contacts was carried out in a retrospective leave-one-out manner based on probabilistic stimulation maps (PSMs), simulated stimulation fields, and a scoring function. Electrode contacts were ranked according to their likelihood of being included in the clinical setting. Ranked electrode contacts were compared to actual clinical settings.
Predictions made by the software tool showed that electrode contacts with rank 1 matched the clinically used contacts in 60% of the cases. Contacts with a rank of 1-2 and 1-3 matched the clinical contacts in 83 and 94% of the cases, respectively. Mean improvement of hand tremor and hand function was 79 ± 21% and 77 ± 22% for the clinically used and the predicted electrode contacts, respectively.
Effective electrode contacts can be predicted based on PSMs in patients treated with cZi DBS for ET. Predictions may in the future be used to reduce the number of clinical assessments that are carried out before a satisfying stimulation setting is defined 4).