Reaction time is not impaired by stimulation of the ventral-intermediate nucleus of the Thalamus (Vim) in patients with tremor

Didier Flament, Mark B. Shapiro, Kerstin D. Pfann, Charity G. Moore, Richard D. Penn, Daniel M. Corcos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

We studied the effect of high-frequency electrical stimulation of the ventral-intermediate nucleus of the thalamus (Vim) in 4 patients implanted with chronic stimulators to determine whether this procedure adversely affects reaction time to a proprioceptive stimulus. Two patients had undergone this surgery for treatment of tremor resulting from Parkinson's disease insufficiently responsive to levodopa therapy and 2 patients for treatment of essential tremor. Reaction times to auditory, visual, cutaneous, and proprioceptive stimuli were tested in a simple motor task requiring flexion of the elbow joint to a visual target in response to each stimulus. Reaction times were tested postoperatively with and without the stimulator turned on. We found that reaction time for all stimulus modalities was not increased when the stimulator was turned on; in fact, reaction times were, on average, slightly shorter during stimulation, but this difference was not statistically significant. We conclude that transmission of somatosensory inputs, necessary for initiating voluntary movement, from the periphery to the cortex is not significantly impaired by stimulation of the ventral-intermediate nucleus of the thalamus in patients with pathological tremor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-492
Number of pages5
JournalMovement Disorders
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2002

Keywords

  • Essential tremor
  • Human
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Proprioception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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