Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Growing evidence suggests that spontaneous oscillatory low-frequency synchronization in the subthalamic nuclei (STN) may modulate motor performance in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). To explore this in more detail, 15 PD patients chronically implanted with deep brain stimulation (DBS) electrodes in both STN were stimulated bilaterally at 5, 10, 20, 50 and 130 Hz and the effects of the DBS on self-initiated isometric elbow flexion (FLEX) and finger pinch (PINCH) were compared to performance without DBS. Baseline performance was very much impaired. Peak force was significantly greater during 130 and 10 Hz stimulation when compared to no stimulation in both tasks. Cumulative sums of the changes in mean rising force and peak force in the two tasks upon stimulation at 10 and 20 Hz demonstrated that patients improved their performance on stimulation, except for those with the best performance off stimulation who deteriorated with stimulation at 20 Hz. Thus, no effect was detected with 20 Hz stimulation at the group level. The current study highlights the need to consider the baseline performance of a subject in a given task when determining the effects of low-frequency STN stimulation in PD patients. It also demonstrates that stimulation at 10 Hz can improve motor function in subjects with poor baseline function.

Original publication




Journal article


Exp Brain Res

Publication Date





53 - 62


Adult, Aged, Deep Brain Stimulation, Female, Humans, Isometric Contraction, Male, Middle Aged, Parkinson Disease, Subthalamic Nucleus, Subthalamus, Treatment Outcome