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Novel fingerprinting method characterises the necessary and sufficient structural connectivity from deep brain stimulation electrodes for a successful outcome

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Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a remarkably effective clinical tool, used primarily for movement disorders. DBS relies on precise targeting of specific brain regions to rebalance the oscillatory behaviour of whole-brain neural networks. Traditionally, DBS targeting has been based upon animal models (such as MPTP for Parkinson's disease) but has also been the result of serendipity during human lesional neurosurgery. There are, however, no good animal models of psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia, and progress in this area has been slow. In this paper, we use advanced tractography combined with whole-brain anatomical parcellation to provide a rational foundation for identifying the connectivity 'fingerprint' of existing, successful DBS targets. This knowledge can then be used pre-surgically and even potentially for the discovery of novel targets. First, using data from our recent case series of cingulate DBS for patients with treatment-resistant chronic pain, we demonstrate how to identify the structural 'fingerprints' of existing successful and unsuccessful DBS targets in terms of their connectivity to other brain regions, as defined by the whole-brain anatomical parcellation. Second, we use a number of different strategies to identify the successful fingerprints of structural connectivity across four patients with successful outcomes compared with two patients with unsuccessful outcomes. This fingerprinting method can potentially be used pre-surgically to account for a patient's individual connectivity and identify the best DBS target. Ultimately, our novel fingerprinting method could be combined with advanced whole-brain computational modelling of the spontaneous dynamics arising from the structural changes in disease, to provide new insights and potentially new targets for hitherto impenetrable neuropsychiatric disorders.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Volume17
Issue1
Pages (from-to)015001
Number of pages1
ISSN1367-2630
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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