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Depth recordings in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) have demonstrated prominent oscillatory activity in the beta frequency (13-35 Hz) band in local field potentials (LFPs) recorded from the region of the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Although this activity has been hypothesized to contribute to bradykinesia, it is unclear to what extent the LFP oscillations arise in the STN and are synchronous with local neuronal discharge. We therefore recorded both LFPs and multi-neuronal activity from microelectrodes inserted into STN in six PD patients (8 sides) during functional neurosurgery. As microelectrodes passed from above STN into STN, there was a pronounced increase in beta frequency band LFP activity. Furthermore, spike-triggered averages of LFP activity suggested that the discharges of neurons in STN were locked to beta oscillations in the LFP. The LFP is therefore likely to represent synchronous activity in populations of neurons in the STN of patients with PD.

Original publication




Journal article


Exp Neurol

Publication Date





212 - 220


Action Potentials, Aged, Biological Clocks, Electrodes, Implanted, Electrophysiology, Female, Humans, Hypokinesia, Male, Microelectrodes, Middle Aged, Neural Pathways, Neurons, Parkinson Disease, Subthalamic Nucleus