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Jesse L. Winer, Daniel R. Kramer, Richard A. Robison, Ifije Ohiorhenuan, Michael Minneti, Steven Giannotta and Gabriel Zada

Cadaveric surgical simulation carries the advantage of realistic anatomy and haptic feedback but has been historically difficult to model for intraventricular approaches given the need for active flow of CSF. This feasibility study was designed to simulate intraventricular neuroendoscopic approaches and techniques by reconstituting natural CSF flow in a cadaveric model. In 10 fresh human cadavers, a simple cervical laminectomy and dural opening were made, and a 12-gauge arterial catheter was introduced. Saline was continuously perfused at physiological CSF pressures to reconstitute the subarachnoid space and ventricles. A neuroendoscope was subsequently inserted via a standard right frontal bur hole. In 8 of the 10 cadavers, adequate reconstitution and endoscopic access of the lateral and third ventricles were achieved. In 2 cadavers, ventricular access was not feasible, perhaps because of a small ventricle size and/or deteriorated tissue quality. In all 8 cadavers with successful CSF flow reconstitution and endoscopic access, identifying the foramen of Monro was possible, as was performing septum pellucidotomy and endoscopic third ventriculostomy. Furthermore, navigation of the cerebral aqueduct, fourth ventricle, prepontine cistern, and suprasellar cistern via the lamina terminalis was possible, providing a complementary educational paradigm for resident education that cannot typically be performed in live surgery. Surgical simulation plays a critical and increasingly prominent role in surgical education, particularly for techniques with steep learning curves including intraventricular neuroendoscopic procedures. This novel model provides feasible and realistic surgical simulation of neuroendoscopic intraventricular procedures and approaches.

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Daniel R. Kramer, Casey H. Halpern, Dana L. Buonacore, Kathryn R. McGill, Howard I. Hurtig, Jurg L. Jaggi and Gordon H. Baltuch

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is the treatment of choice for otherwise healthy patients with advanced Parkinson disease who are suffering from disabling dyskinesias and motor fluctuations related to dopaminergic therapy. As DBS is an elective procedure, it is essential to minimize the risk of morbidity. Further, precision in targeting deep brain structures is critical to optimize efficacy in controlling motor features. The authors have already established an operational checklist in an effort to minimize errors made during DBS surgery. Here, they set out to standardize a strict, step-by-step approach to the DBS surgery used at their institution, including preoperative evaluation, the day of surgery, and the postoperative course. They provide careful instruction on Leksell frame assembly and placement as well as the determination of indirect coordinates derived from MR images used to target deep brain structures. Detailed descriptions of the operative procedure are provided, outlining placement of the stereotactic arc as well as determination of the appropriate bur hole location, lead placement using electrophysiology, and placement of the internal pulse generator. The authors also include their approach to preventing postoperative morbidity. They believe that a strategic, step-by-step approach to DBS surgery combined with a standardized checklist will help to minimize operating room mistakes that can compromise targeting and increase the risk of complication.

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Daniel R. Kramer, Krista Lamorie-Foote, Michael Barbaro, Morgan B. Lee, Terrance Peng, Angad Gogia, George Nune, Charles Y. Liu, Spencer S. Kellis and Brian Lee

OBJECTIVE

Stimulation of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) has been successful in evoking artificial somatosensation in both humans and animals, but much is unknown about the optimal stimulation parameters needed to generate robust percepts of somatosensation. In this study, the authors investigated frequency as an adjustable stimulation parameter for artificial somatosensation in a closed-loop brain-computer interface (BCI) system.

METHODS

Three epilepsy patients with subdural mini-electrocorticography grids over the hand area of S1 were asked to compare the percepts elicited with different stimulation frequencies. Amplitude, pulse width, and duration were held constant across all trials. In each trial, subjects experienced 2 stimuli and reported which they thought was given at a higher stimulation frequency. Two paradigms were used: first, 50 versus 100 Hz to establish the utility of comparing frequencies, and then 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100 Hz were pseudorandomly compared.

RESULTS

As the magnitude of the stimulation frequency was increased, subjects described percepts that were “more intense” or “faster.” Cumulatively, the participants achieved 98.0% accuracy when comparing stimulation at 50 and 100 Hz. In the second paradigm, the corresponding overall accuracy was 73.3%. If both tested frequencies were less than or equal to 10 Hz, accuracy was 41.7% and increased to 79.4% when one frequency was greater than 10 Hz (p = 0.01). When both stimulation frequencies were 20 Hz or less, accuracy was 40.7% compared with 91.7% when one frequency was greater than 20 Hz (p < 0.001). Accuracy was 85% in trials in which 50 Hz was the higher stimulation frequency. Therefore, the lower limit of detection occurred at 20 Hz, and accuracy decreased significantly when lower frequencies were tested. In trials testing 10 Hz versus 20 Hz, accuracy was 16.7% compared with 85.7% in trials testing 20 Hz versus 50 Hz (p < 0.05). Accuracy was greater than chance at frequency differences greater than or equal to 30 Hz.

CONCLUSIONS

Frequencies greater than 20 Hz may be used as an adjustable parameter to elicit distinguishable percepts. These findings may be useful in informing the settings and the degrees of freedom achievable in future BCI systems.

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Michael F. Barbaro, Kelsi Chesney, Daniel R. Kramer, Spencer Kellis, Terrance Peng, Zack Blumenfeld, Angad S. Gogia, Morgan B. Lee, Janet Greenwood, George Nune, Laura A. Kalayjian, Christianne N. Heck, Charles Y. Liu and Brian Lee

Closed-loop brain-responsive neurostimulation via the RNS System is a treatment option for adults with medically refractory focal epilepsy. Using a novel technique, 2 RNS Systems (2 neurostimulators and 4 leads) were successfully implanted in a single patient with bilateral parietal epileptogenic zones. In patients with multiple epileptogenic zones, this technique allows for additional treatment options. Implantation can be done successfully, without telemetry interference, using proper surgical planning and neurostimulator positioning.

Trajectories for the depth leads were planned using neuronavigation with CT and MR imaging. Stereotactic frames were used for coordinate targeting. Each neurostimulator was positioned with maximal spacing to avoid telemetry interference while minimizing patient discomfort. A separate J-shaped incision was used for each neurostimulator to allow for compartmentalization in case of infection. In order to minimize surgical time and risk of infection, the neurostimulators were implanted in 2 separate surgeries, approximately 3 weeks apart.

The neurostimulators and leads were successfully implanted without adverse surgical outcomes. The patient recovered uneventfully, and the early therapy settings over several months resulted in preliminary decreases in aura and seizure frequency. Stimulation by one of the neurostimulators did not result in stimulation artifacts detected by the contralateral neurostimulator.

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Angad S. Gogia, Roberto Martin Del Campo-Vera, Kuang-Hsuan Chen, Rinu Sebastian, George Nune, Daniel R. Kramer, Morgan B. Lee, Ali R. Tafreshi, Michael F. Barbaro, Charles Y. Liu, Spencer Kellis and Brian Lee

OBJECTIVE

Motor brain-computer interface (BCI) represents a new frontier in neurological surgery that could provide significant benefits for patients living with motor deficits. Both the primary motor cortex and posterior parietal cortex have successfully been used as a neural source for human motor BCI, leading to interest in exploring other brain areas involved in motor control. The amygdala is one area that has been shown to have functional connectivity to the motor system; however, its role in movement execution is not well studied. Gamma oscillations (30–200 Hz) are known to be prokinetic in the human cortex, but their role is poorly understood in subcortical structures. Here, the authors use direct electrophysiological recordings and the classic “center-out” direct-reach experiment to study amygdaloid gamma-band modulation in 8 patients with medically refractory epilepsy.

METHODS

The study population consisted of 8 epilepsy patients (2 men; age range 21–62 years) who underwent implantation of micro-macro depth electrodes for seizure localization and EEG monitoring. Data from the macro contacts sampled at 2000 Hz were used for analysis. The classic center-out direct-reach experiment was used, which consists of an intertrial interval phase, a fixation phase, and a response phase. The authors assessed the statistical significance of neural modulation by inspecting for nonoverlapping areas in the 95% confidence intervals of spectral power for the response and fixation phases.

RESULTS

In 5 of the 8 patients, power spectral analysis showed a statistically significant increase in power within regions of the gamma band during the response phase compared with the fixation phase. In these 5 patients, the 95% bootstrapped confidence intervals of trial-averaged power in contiguous frequencies of the gamma band during the response phase were above, and did not overlap with, the confidence intervals of trial-averaged power during the fixation phase.

CONCLUSIONS

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time that direct neural recordings have been used to show gamma-band modulation in the human amygdala during the execution of voluntary movement. This work indicates that gamma-band modulation in the amygdala could be a contributing source of neural signals for use in a motor BCI system.