Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an established treatment for Parkinson's Disease (PD). Despite the improvement of motor symptoms in most patients by sub-thalamic nucleus (STN) DBS and its widespread use, the neurobiological mechanisms are not completely understood. The objective of the present study was to elucidate the effects of subthalamic nucleus (STN) DBS in PD on the dopamine system and neural circuitry, employing high-resolution positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. The hypotheses tested were that STN DBS would decrease the striatal vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2), secondary to an increase in dopamine concentrations, and would decrease striatal cerebral metabolism and increase cortical cerebral metabolism.