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Subthalamic local field potentials in Parkinson's disease and isolated dystonia: An evaluation of potential biomarkers


Local field potentials (LFP) recorded from the subthalamic nucleus in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) demonstrate prominent oscillations in the beta (13-30 Hz) frequency range, and reduction of beta band spectral power by levodopa and deep brain stimulation (DBS) is correlated with motor symptom improvement. Several features of beta activity have been theorized to be specific biomarkers of the parkinsonian state, though these have rarely been studied in non-parkinsonian conditions. To compare resting state LFP features in PD and isolated dystonia and evaluate disease-specific biomarkers, we recorded subthalamic LFPs from 28 akinetic-rigid PD and 12 isolated dystonia patients during awake DBS implantation. Spectral power and phase-amplitude coupling characteristics were analyzed. In 26/28 PD and 11/12 isolated dystonia patients, the LFP power spectrum had a peak in the beta frequency range, with similar amplitudes between groups. Resting state power did not differ between groups in the theta (5-8 Hz), alpha (8-12 Hz), beta (13-30 Hz), broadband gamma (50-200 Hz), or high frequency oscillation (HFO, 250-350 Hz) bands. Analysis of phase-amplitude coupling between low frequency phase and HFO amplitude revealed significant interactions in 19/28 PD and 6/12 dystonia recordings without significant differences in maximal coupling or preferred phase. Two features of subthalamic LFPs that have been proposed as specific parkinsonian biomarkers, beta power and coupling of beta phase to HFO amplitude, were also present in isolated dystonia, including focal dystonias. This casts doubt on the utility of these metrics as disease-specific diagnostic biomarkers.

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