Cortical network formation based on subthalamic beta bursts in Parkinson’s disease.

Sure M, Vesper J, Schnitzler A, Florin E.


Recent evidence suggests that beta bursts in subthalamic nucleus (STN) play an important role in Parkinsonian pathophysiology. We studied the spatio-temporal relationship between STN beta bursts and cortical activity in 26 Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. Postoperatively, we simultaneously recorded STN local field potentials (LFP) from externalized DBS leads and cortical activity using whole-brain magnetoencephalography. Event-related magnetic fields (ERF) were averaged time-locked to STN beta bursts and subjected to source localization. Our results demonstrate that ERF exhibiting activity significantly different from baseline activity were localized within areas functionally related to associative, limbic, and motor systems as well as regions pertinent for visual and language processing. Our data suggest that STN beta bursts are involved in network formation between STN and cortex. This interaction is in line with the idea of parallel processing within the basal ganglia-cortex loop, specifically within the functional subsystems of the STN (i.e., associative, limbic, motor, and the related cortical areas). ERFs within visual and language-related cortical areas indicate involvement of beta bursts in STN-cortex networks beyond the associative, limbic, and motor loops. In sum, our results highlight the involvement of STN beta bursts in the formation of multiple STN – cortex loops in patients with PD.

Published: Sep 2022