Imaging the response to deep brain stimulation in rodent using functional ultrasound

Rohit Nayak, Jeyeon Lee, Siobhan A Chantigian, Mostafa Fatemi, Su-Youne Chang, Azra Alizad
Physics in Medicine and Biology 2021 January 22
In this study, we explored the feasibility of using functional ultrasound (fUS) imaging to visualize cerebral activation associated with thalamic deep brain stimulation (DBS), in rodents. The ventrolateral (VL) thalamus was stimulated using electrical pulses of low and high frequencies of 10 and 100 Hz, and multiple voltages (1-7 V) and pulse widths (50-1500 s). The fUS imaging demonstrated DBS-evoked activation of cerebral cortex based on changes of cerebral blood volume, specifically at the primary motor cortex (PMC). Low frequency stimulation (LFS) demonstrated significantly higher PMC activation compared to higher frequency stimulation (HFS), at intensities (5-7 V). Whereas, at lower intensities (1-3V), only HFS demonstrated visible PMC activation. Further, LFS-evoked cerebral activation was was primarily located at the PMC. Our data presents the functionality and feasibility of fUS imaging as an investigational tool to identify brain areas associated with deep brain stimulation. This preliminary study is an important stepping stone towards conducting real-time functional ultrasound imaging of DBS in awake and behaving animal models, which is of significant interest to the community for studying motor-related disorders.

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