Biophysical basis of subthalamic local field potentials recorded from deep brain stimulation electrodes JOURNAL OF NEUROPHYSIOLOGY Maling, N., Lempka, S. F., Blumenfeld, Z., Bronte-Stewart, H., McIntyre, C. C. 2018; 120 (4): 1932–44


Clinical deep brain stimulation (DBS) technology is evolving to enable chronic recording of local field potentials (LFPs) that represent electrophysiological biomarkers of the underlying disease state. However, little is known about the biophysical basis of LFPs, or how the patient's unique brain anatomy and electrode placement impact the recordings. Therefore, we developed a patient-specific computational framework to analyze LFP recordings within a clinical DBS context. We selected a subject with Parkinson's disease implanted with a Medtronic Activa PC+S DBS system and reconstructed their subthalamic nucleus (STN) and DBS electrode location using medical imaging data. The patient-specific STN volume was populated with 235,280 multicompartment STN neuron models, providing a neuron density consistent with histological measurements. Each neuron received time-varying synaptic inputs and generated transmembrane currents that gave rise to the LFP signal recorded at DBS electrode contacts residing in a finite element volume conductor model. We then used the model to study the role of synchronous beta-band inputs to the STN neurons on the recorded power spectrum. Three bipolar pairs of simultaneous clinical LFP recordings were used in combination with an optimization algorithm to customize the neural activity parameters in the model to the patient. The optimized model predicted a 2.4-mm radius of beta-synchronous neurons located in the dorsolateral STN. These theoretical results enable biophysical dissection of the LFP signal at the cellular level with direct comparison to the clinical recordings, and the model system provides a scientific platform to help guide the design of DBS technology focused on the use of subthalamic beta activity in closed-loop algorithms. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The analysis of deep brain stimulation of local field potential (LFP) data is rapidly expanding from scientific curiosity to the basis for clinical biomarkers capable of improving the therapeutic efficacy of stimulation. With this growing clinical importance comes a growing need to understand the underlying electrophysiological fundamentals of the signals and the factors contributing to their modulation. Our model reconstructs the clinical LFP from first principles and highlights the importance of patient-specific factors in dictating the signals recorded.

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