Coherence between cerebellar thalamus, cortex and muscle in man: cerebellar thalamus interactions.
Marsden JF., Ashby P., Limousin-Dowsey P., Rothwell JC., Brown P.
Local field potentials (LFPs) were recorded in seven unanaesthetized patients between the four adjacent contacts of a macroelectrode stereotactically implanted for the treatment of tremor. The LFPs were presumed to arise predominantly from the nucleus ventralis intermedius (Vim) of the thalamus, the implantation target. They were recorded simultaneously with the ipsilateral EEG and contralateral EMG during an isometric contraction or at rest. The patients had a history of either isolated tremor (essential tremor, n = 2; benign tremulous Parkinson's disease, n = 1) or tremor with signs of a cerebellar syndrome (multiple sclerosis, n = 3; essential tremor and ataxia, n = 1), although clinical tremor was absent at the time of recording because of a temporary microthalamotomy effect in four patients. In patients with isolated tremor, oscillatory activity picked up by contacts in Vim (cerebellar thalamus) was invariably coherent with that in the sensorimotor cortex or contracting muscle in the 8-27 Hz range. Such coherence was absent in two of the four subjects with tremor associated with a cerebellar syndrome. Coherence between LFPs recorded from more caudally placed contacts and the sensorimotor cortex or contracting muscle was negligible in all patients. These caudally placed contacts demonstrated the highest sensory evoked potential in response to median nerve stimulation. Oscillatory activity in the cerebellar thalamus (Vim) lagged behind that in both cortex and muscle. Coherent activity between the cerebellar thalamus (Vim) and the cortex persisted at rest. It is suggested that rhythmicities in the 8-27 Hz range could provide the basis for a temporal framework that is widely distributed within the motor system.