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Kendall H. Lee, Su-Youne Chang, David W. Roberts, and Uhnoh Kim

Object. High-frequency stimulation (HFS) delivered through implanted electrodes in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has become an established treatment for Parkinson disease (PD). The precise mechanism of action of deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the STN is unknown, however. In the present study, the authors tested the hypothesis that HFS within the STN changes neuronal action potential firing rates during the stimulation period by modifying neurotransmitter release.

Methods. Intracellular electrophysiological recordings were obtained using sharp electrodes in rat STN neurons in an in vitro slice preparation. A concentric bipolar stimulating electrode was placed in the STN slice, and electrical stimulation (pulse width 50–100 µsec, duration 100–2000 µsec, amplitude 10–500 µA, and frequency 10–200 Hz) was delivered while simultaneously obtaining intracellular recordings from an STN neuron.

High-frequency stimulation of the STN either generated excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and increased the action potential frequency or it generated inhibitory postsynaptic potentials and decreased the action potential frequency of neurons within the STN. These effects were blocked after antagonists to glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid were applied to the tissue slice, indicating that HFS resulted in the release of neurotransmitters. Intracellular recordings from substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) dopaminergic neurons during HFS of the STN revealed increased generation of EPSPs and increased frequency of action potentials in SNc neurons.

Conclusions. During HFS of STN neurons the mechanism of DBS may involve the release of neurotransmitters rather than the primary electrogenic inhibition of neurons.

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Christoph J. Griessenauer, Su-Youne Chang, Susannah J. Tye, Christopher J. Kimble, Kevin E. Bennet, Paul A. Garris, and Kendall H. Lee

Object

The authors previously reported the development of the Wireless Instantaneous Neurotransmitter Concentration System (WINCS) for measuring dopamine and suggested that this technology may be useful for evaluating deep brain stimulation–related neuromodulatory effects on neurotransmitter systems. The WINCS supports fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) at a carbon-fiber microelectrode (CFM) for real-time, spatially resolved neurotransmitter measurements. The FSCV parameters used to establish WINCS dopamine measurements are not suitable for serotonin, a neurotransmitter implicated in depression, because they lead to CFM fouling and a loss of sensitivity. Here, the authors incorporate into WINCS a previously described N-shaped waveform applied at a high scan rate to establish wireless serotonin monitoring.

Methods

Optimized for the detection of serotonin, FSCV consisted of an N-shaped waveform scanned linearly from a resting potential of +0.2 to +1.0 V, then to −0.1 V and back to +0.2 V, at a rate of 1000 V/second. Proof-of-principle tests included flow injection analysis and electrically evoked serotonin release in the dorsal raphe nucleus of rat brain slices.

Results

Flow cell injection analysis demonstrated that the N waveform, applied at a scan rate of 1000 V/second, significantly reduced serotonin fouling of the CFM, relative to that observed with FSCV parameters for dopamine. In brain slices, WINCS reliably detected subsecond serotonin release in the dorsal raphe nucleus evoked by local high-frequency stimulation.

Conclusions

The authors found that WINCS supported high-fidelity wireless serotonin monitoring by FSCV at a CFM. In the future such measurements of serotonin in large animal models and in humans may help to establish the mechanism of deep brain stimulation for psychiatric disease.

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Young-Min Shon, Su-Youne Chang, Susannah J. Tye, Christopher J. Kimble, Kevin E. Bennet, Charles D. Blaha, and Kendall H. Lee

Object

The authors of previous studies have demonstrated that local adenosine efflux may contribute to the therapeutic mechanism of action of thalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS) for essential tremor. Real-time monitoring of the neurochemical output of DBS-targeted regions may thus advance functional neurosurgical procedures by identifying candidate neurotransmitters and neuromodulators involved in the physiological effects of DBS. This would in turn permit the development of a method of chemically guided placement of DBS electrodes in vivo. Designed in compliance with FDA-recognized standards for medical electrical device safety, the authors report on the utility of the Wireless Instantaneous Neurotransmitter Concentration System (WINCS) for real-time comonitoring of electrical stimulation–evoked adenosine and dopamine efflux in vivo, utilizing fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) at a polyacrylonitrile-based (T-650) carbon fiber microelectrode (CFM).

Methods

The WINCS was used for FSCV, which consisted of a triangle wave scanned between −0.4 and +1.5 V at a rate of 400 V/second and applied at 10 Hz. All voltages applied to the CFM were with respect to an Ag/AgCl reference electrode. The CFM was constructed by aspirating a single T-650 carbon fiber (r = 2.5 μm) into a glass capillary and pulling to a microscopic tip using a pipette puller. The exposed carbon fiber (the sensing region) extended beyond the glass insulation by ~ 50 μm. Proof of principle tests included in vitro measurements of adenosine and dopamine, as well as in vivo measurements in urethane-anesthetized rats by monitoring adenosine and dopamine efflux in the dorsomedial caudate putamen evoked by high-frequency electrical stimulation of the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra.

Results

The WINCS provided reliable, high-fidelity measurements of adenosine efflux. Peak oxidative currents appeared at +1.5 V and at +1.0 V for adenosine, separate from the peak oxidative current at +0.6 V for dopamine. The WINCS detected subsecond adenosine and dopamine efflux in the caudate putamen at an implanted CFM during high-frequency stimulation of the ventral tegmental area and substantia nigra. Both in vitro and in vivo testing demonstrated that WINCS can detect adenosine in the presence of other easily oxidizable neurochemicals such as dopamine comparable to the detection abilities of a conventional hardwired electrochemical system for FSCV.

Conclusions

Altogether, these results demonstrate that WINCS is well suited for wireless monitoring of high-frequency stimulation-evoked changes in brain extracellular concentrations of adenosine. Clinical applications of selective adenosine measurements may prove important to the future development of DBS technology.

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Jamie J. Van Gompel, Su-Youne Chang, Stephan J. Goerss, In Yong Kim, Christopher Kimble, Kevin E. Bennet, and Kendall H. Lee

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is effective when there appears to be a distortion in the complex neurochemical circuitry of the brain. Currently, the mechanism of DBS is incompletely understood; however, it has been hypothesized that DBS evokes release of neurochemicals. Well-established chemical detection systems such as microdialysis and mass spectrometry are impractical if one is assessing changes that are happening on a second-to-second time scale or for chronically used implanted recordings, as would be required for DBS feedback. Electrochemical detection techniques such as fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) and amperometry have until recently remained in the realm of basic science; however, it is enticing to apply these powerful recording technologies to clinical and translational applications. The Wireless Instantaneous Neurochemical Concentration Sensor (WINCS) currently is a research device designed for human use capable of in vivo FSCV and amperometry, sampling at subsecond time resolution. In this paper, the authors review recent advances in this electrochemical application to DBS technologies. The WINCS can detect dopamine, adenosine, and serotonin by FSCV. For example, FSCV is capable of detecting dopamine in the caudate evoked by stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus/substantia nigra in pig and rat models of DBS. It is further capable of detecting dopamine by amperometry and, when used with enzyme linked sensors, both glutamate and adenosine. In conclusion, WINCS is a highly versatile instrument that allows near real-time (millisecond) detection of neurochemicals important to DBS research. In the future, the neurochemical changes detected using WINCS may be important as surrogate markers for proper DBS placement as well as the sensor component for a “smart” DBS system with electrochemical feedback that allows automatic modulation of stimulation parameters. Current work is under way to establish WINCS use in humans.

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J. Blair Price, Aaron E. Rusheen, Abhijeet S. Barath, Juan M. Rojas Cabrera, Hojin Shin, Su-Youne Chang, Christopher J. Kimble, Kevin E. Bennet, Charles D. Blaha, Kendall H. Lee, and Yoonbae Oh

The development of closed-loop deep brain stimulation (DBS) systems represents a significant opportunity for innovation in the clinical application of neurostimulation therapies. Despite the highly dynamic nature of neurological diseases, open-loop DBS applications are incapable of modifying parameters in real time to react to fluctuations in disease states. Thus, current practice for the designation of stimulation parameters, such as duration, amplitude, and pulse frequency, is an algorithmic process. Ideal stimulation parameters are highly individualized and must reflect both the specific disease presentation and the unique pathophysiology presented by the individual. Stimulation parameters currently require a lengthy trial-and-error process to achieve the maximal therapeutic effect and can only be modified during clinical visits. The major impediment to the development of automated, adaptive closed-loop systems involves the selection of highly specific disease-related biomarkers to provide feedback for the stimulation platform. This review explores the disease relevance of neurochemical and electrophysiological biomarkers for the development of closed-loop neurostimulation technologies. Electrophysiological biomarkers, such as local field potentials, have been used to monitor disease states. Real-time measurement of neurochemical substances may be similarly useful for disease characterization. Thus, the introduction of measurable neurochemical analytes has significantly expanded biomarker options for feedback-sensitive neuromodulation systems. The potential use of biomarker monitoring to advance neurostimulation approaches for treatment of Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, epilepsy, Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic pain, and depression is examined. Further, challenges and advances in the development of closed-loop neurostimulation technology are reviewed, as well as opportunities for next-generation closed-loop platforms.

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Su-Youne Chang, Christopher J. Kimble, Inyong Kim, Seungleal B. Paek, Kenneth R. Kressin, Joshua B. Boesche, Sidney V. Whitlock, Diane R. Eaker, Aimen Kasasbeh, April E. Horne, Charles D. Blaha, Kevin E. Bennet, and Kendall H. Lee

Object

Conventional deep brain stimulation (DBS) devices continue to rely on an open-loop system in which stimulation is independent of functional neural feedback. The authors previously proposed that as the foundation of a DBS “smart” device, a closed-loop system based on neurochemical feedback, may have the potential to improve therapeutic outcomes. Alterations in neurochemical release are thought to be linked to the clinical benefit of DBS, and fast-scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) has been shown to be effective for recording these evoked neurochemical changes. However, the combination of FSCV with conventional DBS devices interferes with the recording and identification of the evoked analytes. To integrate neurochemical recording with neurostimulation, the authors developed the Mayo Investigational Neuromodulation Control System (MINCS), a novel, wirelessly controlled stimulation device designed to interface with FSCV performed by their previously described Wireless Instantaneous Neurochemical Concentration Sensing System (WINCS).

Methods

To test the functionality of these integrated devices, various frequencies of electrical stimulation were applied by MINCS to the medial forebrain bundle of the anesthetized rat, and striatal dopamine release was recorded by WINCS. The parameters for FSCV in the present study consisted of a pyramidal voltage waveform applied to the carbon-fiber microelectrode every 100 msec, ramping between −0.4 V and +1.5 V with respect to an Ag/AgCl reference electrode at a scan rate of either 400 V/sec or 1000 V/sec. The carbon-fiber microelectrode was held at the baseline potential of −0.4 V between scans.

Results

By using MINCS in conjunction with WINCS coordinated through an optic fiber, the authors interleaved intervals of electrical stimulation with FSCV scans and thus obtained artifact-free wireless FSCV recordings. Electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle in the anesthetized rat by MINCS elicited striatal dopamine release that was time-locked to stimulation and increased progressively with stimulation frequency.

Conclusions

Here, the authors report a series of proof-of-principle tests in the rat brain demonstrating MINCS to be a reliable and flexible stimulation device that, when used in conjunction with WINCS, performs wirelessly controlled stimulation concurrent with artifact-free neurochemical recording. These findings suggest that the integration of neurochemical recording with neurostimulation may be a useful first step toward the development of a closed-loop DBS system for human application.