Modulation of sensory cortical activity by deep brain stimulation in advanced Parkinson's disease

Olesia Korsun*, Hanna Renvall, Jussi Nurminen, Jyrki P. Mäkelä, Eero Pekkonen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Despite optimal oral drug treatment, about 90% of patients with Parkinson's disease develop motor fluctuation and dyskinesia within 5–10 years from the diagnosis. Moreover, the patients show non-motor symptoms in different sensory domains. Bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) applied to the subthalamic nucleus is considered the most effective treatment in advanced Parkinson's disease, and it has been suggested to affect sensorimotor modulation and relate to motor improvement in patients. However, observations on the relationship between sensorimotor activity and clinical improvement have remained sparse. Here, we studied the somatosensory evoked magnetic fields in 13 right-handed patients with advanced Parkinson's disease before and 7 months after stimulator implantation. Somatosensory processing was addressed with magnetoencephalography during alternated median nerve stimulation at both wrists. The strengths and the latencies of the ~60-ms responses at the contralateral primary somatosensory cortices were highly variable but detectable and reliably localized in all patients. The response strengths did not differ between preoperative and postoperative DBSON measurements. The change in the response strength between preoperative and postoperative condition in the dominant left hemisphere of our right-handed patients correlated with the alleviation of their motor symptoms (p =.04). However, the result did not survive correction for multiple comparisons. Magnetoencephalography appears an effective tool to explore non-motor effects in patients with Parkinson's disease, and it may help in understanding the neurophysiological basis of DBS. However, the high interindividual variability in the somatosensory responses and poor tolerability of DBSOFF condition warrants larger patient groups and measurements also in non-medicated patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3979-3990
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • deep brain stimulation
  • magnetoencephalography
  • non-motor cerebral activity
  • Parkinson's disease
  • somatosensory processing


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