Real-time refinement of subthalamic nucleus targeting using Bayesian decision-making on the root mean square measure

Anan Moran*, Izhar Bar-Gad, Hagai Bergman, Zvi Israel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a major target for treatment of advanced Parkinson's disease patients undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery. Microelectrode recording (MER) is used in many cases to identify the target nucleus. A real-time procedure for identifying the entry and exit points of the STN would improve the outcome of this targeting procedure. We used the normalized root mean square (NRMS) of a short (5 seconds) MER sampled signal and the estimated anatomical distance to target (EDT) as the basis for this procedure. Electrode tip location was defined intraoperatively by an expert neurophysiologist to be before, within, or after the STN. Data from 46 trajectories of 27 patients were used to calculate the Bayesian posterior probability of being in each of these locations, given RMS-EDT pair values. We tested our predictions on each trajectory using a bootstrapping technique, with the rest of the trajectories serving as a training set and found the error in predicting the STN entry to be (mean ± SD) 0.18 ± 0.84, and 0.50 ± 0.59 mm for STN exit point, which yields a 0.30 ± 0.28 mm deviation from the expert's target center. The simplicity and computational ease of RMS calculation, its spike sorting-independent nature and tolerance to electrode parameters of this Bayesian predictor, can lead directly to the development of a fully automated intraoperative physiological procedure for the refinement of imaging estimates of STN borders.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1425-1431
Number of pages7
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Bayesian inference
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Microelectrode recording
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Root mean square
  • Target localization


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