Thalamic and ventricular volumes predict motor response to deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's disease

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Background: Brain atrophy frequently occurs with Parkinson's disease (PD) and relates to increased motor symptoms of PD. The predictive value of neuroimaging-based measures of global and regional brain volume on motor outcomes in deep brain stimulation (DBS) remains unclear but potentially could improve patient selection and targeting. Objectives: To determine the predictive value of preoperative volumetric MRI measures of cortical and subcortical brain volume on motor outcomes of subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS in PD. Methods: Preoperative T1 3D MP-RAGE structural brain MRI images were analyzed for each participant to determine subcortical, ventricular, and cortical volume and thickness. Change in Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) scores for subsection 3, representing motor outcomes, was computed preoperatively and postoperatively following DBS programming in 86 participants. A multiple linear regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between volumetric data and the effect of DBS on UPDRS 3 scores. Results: Larger ventricular and smaller thalamic volumes predicted significantly less improvement of UPDRS 3 scores after STN DBS. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate in PD that regional brain volumes, in particular thalamic and ventricular volumes, predict motor outcomes after DBS. Differences in regional brain volumes may alter electrode targeting, reflect a specific disease trait such as postoperative progression of subclinical dementia, or directly interfere with the action of DBS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalParkinsonism and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Parkinson's disease


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