Identifying the therapeutic zone in globus pallidus deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease

Marshall T. Holland, Jocelyn Jiao, Alessandra Mantovani, Shannon Anderson, Katherine A. Mitchell, Delaram Safarpour, Kim J. Burchiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE The globus pallidus internus (GPI) has been demonstrated to be an effective surgical target for deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment in patients with medication-refractory Parkinson's disease (PD). The ability of neurosurgeons to define the area of greatest therapeutic benefit within the globus pallidus (GP) may improve clinical outcomes in these patients. The objective of this study was to determine the best DBS therapeutic implantation site within the GP for effective treatment in PD patients. METHODS The authors performed a retrospective review of 56 patients who underwent bilateral GP DBS implantation at their institution during the period from January 2015 to January 2020. Each implanted contact was anatomically localized. Patients were followed for stimulation programming for at least 6 months. The authors reviewed preoperative and 6-month postsurgery clinical outcomes based on data from the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Part III (UPDRS III), dyskinesia scores, and levodopa equivalent daily dose (LEDD). RESULTS Of the 112 leads implanted, the therapeutic cathode was most frequently located in the lamina between the GPI external segment (GPIe) and the GP externus (GPE) (n = 40). Other common locations included the GPE (n = 24), the GPIe (n = 15), and the lamina between the GPI internal segment (GPIi) and the GPIe (n = 14). In the majority of patients (73%) a monopolar programming configuration was used. At 6 months postsurgery, UPDRS III off medications (OFF) and on stimulation (ON) scores significantly improved (z = -4.02, p < 0.001), as did postsurgery dyskinesia ON scores (z = -4.08, p < 0.001) and postsurgery LEDD (z = -4.7, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS Though the ventral GP (pallidotomy target) has been a commonly used target for GP DBS, a more dorsolateral target may be more effective for neuromodulation strategies. The assessment of therapeutic contact locations performed in this study showed that the lamina between GPI and GPE used in most patients is the optimal central stimulation target. This information should improve preoperative GP targeting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • asleep
  • functional neurosurgery
  • globus pallidus
  • image guided
  • movement disorder
  • stereotactic targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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