Use of quantitative tremor evaluation to enhance target selection during deep brain stimulation surgery for essential tremor

Abstract : Deep brain stimulation (DBS), an effective surgical treatment for Essential Tremor (ET), requires test stimulations in the thalamus to find the optimum site for permanent electrode implantation. During these test stimulations, the changes in tremor are only visually evaluated. This, along with other parameters, increases the subjectivity when comparing the efficacy of different thalamic nuclei. We developed a method to quantitatively evaluate tremor during the test stimulations of DBS surgery and applied to 6 ET patients undergoing this treatment. From the quantitative data collected, we identified effective stimulation amplitudes for every test stimulation position and compared it with the ones identified visually during the surgery. We also classified the data based on the thalamic nuclei in which the center of the stimulating contact was present during test stimulations. Results indicate that, to achieve the same reduction in tremor, on average, the stimulation amplitude identified by our method was 0.6 mA lower than those identified by visual evaluation. The comparison of the different thalamic nuclei showed that stimulations in the Ventro-oral and the Intermediolateral nuclei of the thalamus result in higher reduction in tremor for similar stimulation amplitudes as the frequently targeted Ventrointermediate nucleus. We conclude that our quantitative tremor evaluation method is more sensitive than the widely used visual evaluation. Using such quantitative methods will aid in identifying the optimum target structure for patients undergoing DBS.
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Ashesh Shah, Jerome Coste, Jean Jacques Lemaire, Erik Schkommodau, Simone Hemm-Ode. Use of quantitative tremor evaluation to enhance target selection during deep brain stimulation surgery for essential tremor. 49th annual conference of the German Society for Biomedical Engineering, German Society for Biomedical Engineering, Sep 2015, Lûbeck, Germany. pp.488-492, ⟨10.1515/cdbme-2015-0117⟩. ⟨hal-01865462⟩

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