Phase-locked transcranial electrical brain stimulation for tremor suppression in dystonic tremor syndromes
Number of pages
SourceClinical Neurophysiology, 140, (2022), pp. 239-250
Article / Letter to editor
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PI Group Systems Neurology
SW OZ DCC CO
PI Group Intention & Action
Subject111 000 Intention & Action; 240 Systems Neurology; Action, intention, and motor control; Radboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Objective: To establish the causal role of the cerebellum and motor cortex in dystonic tremor syndromes, and explore the therapeutic efficacy of phase-locked transcranial alternating current stimulation (TACS). Methods: We applied phase-locked TACS over the ipsilateral cerebellum (N = 14) and contralateral motor cortex (N = 17) in dystonic tremor syndrome patients, while patients assumed a tremor-evoking posture. We measured tremor power using accelerometery during 30 s stimulation periods at 10 different phase-lags (36-degrees increments) between tremor and TACS for each target. Post-hoc, TACS-effects were related to a key clinical feature: the jerkiness (regularity) of tremor. Results: Cerebellar TACS modulated tremor amplitude in a phase-dependent manner, such that tremor amplitude was suppressed or enhanced at opposite sides of the phase-cycle. This effect was specific for patients with non-jerky (sinusoidal) tremor (n = 10), but absent in patients with jerky (irregular) tremor (n = 4). Phase-locked stimulation over the motor cortex did not modulate tremor amplitude. Conclusions: This study indicates that the cerebellum plays a causal role in the generation of (non-jerky) dystonic tremor syndrome. Our findings suggest pathophysiologic heterogeneity between patients with dystonic tremor syndrome, which mirrors clinical variability. Significance We show tremor phenotype dependent involvement of the cerebellum in dystonic tremor syndrome. Tremor phenotype may thus guide optimal intervention targets.
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