Increased Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation Amplitude Impairs Inhibitory Control of Eye Movements in Parkinson's Disease

Miranda J. Munoz*, Lisa C. Goelz, Gian D. Pal, Jessica A. Karl, Leo Verhagen Metman, Sepehr Sani, Joshua M. Rosenow, Jody D. Ciolino, Ajay S. Kurani, Daniel M. Corcos, Fabian J. David

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background and Objectives: Bilateral subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN DBS) in Parkinson's disease (PD) can have detrimental effects on eye movement inhibitory control. To investigate this detrimental effect of bilateral STN DBS, we examined the effects of manipulating STN DBS amplitude on inhibitory control during the antisaccade task. The prosaccade error rate during the antisaccade task, that is, directional errors, was indicative of impaired inhibitory control. We hypothesized that as stimulation amplitude increased, the prosaccade error rate would increase. Materials and Methods: Ten participants with bilateral STN DBS completed the antisaccade task on six different stimulation amplitudes (including zero amplitude) after a 12-hour overnight withdrawal from antiparkinsonian medication. Results: We found that the prosaccade error rate increased as stimulation amplitude increased (p < 0.01). Additionally, prosaccade error rate increased as the modeled volume of tissue activated (VTA) and STN overlap decreased, but this relationship depended on stimulation amplitude (p = 0.04). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that higher stimulation amplitude settings can be modulatory for inhibitory control. Some individual variability in the effect of stimulation amplitude can be explained by active contact location and VTA-STN overlap. Higher stimulation amplitudes are more deleterious if the active contacts fall outside of the STN resulting in a smaller VTA-STN overlap. This is clinically significant as it can inform clinical optimization of STN DBS parameters. Further studies are needed to determine stimulation amplitude effects on other aspects of cognition and whether inhibitory control deficits on the antisaccade task result in a meaningful impact on the quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)866-876
Number of pages11
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Antisaccade
  • Parkinson's disease
  • deep brain stimulation
  • inhibitory control
  • stimulation amplitude

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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