Identifying the specific brain network to suppress MS tremor via DBS

By Anna Shavers

In a new study, University of Florida neurologists compared tremor in multiple sclerosis (MS) with other tremor syndromes and constructed a model to identify brain networks related to tremor in MS.

Dr. Joshua Wong
Dr. Joshua Wong

“We know that the disease process of MS is very unique, but we did not know how similar tremor in MS was compared to other tremor syndromes,” said lead author Joshua Wong, M.D., movement disorders fellow at Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health.

The study, published in the journal Brain Communications, utilized advanced MRI analysis techniques to map major networks and pathways in the brain and computer simulation to estimate the amount of brain tissue stimulated by DBS from a previously completed trial conducted at the University of Florida.

“The degree of MS tremor suppression post-deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been documented to be highly variable with high recurrence rates,” said Wong. “By combining the MRI analysis and computer simulations, we were able to construct a model that identified brain networks that provided the greatest amount of tremor suppression.”

The identification of the distinct brain network provides better targeting guidance for neurologists and neurosurgeons planning DBS to suppress tremor in MS. Future studies can expand the understanding of the distinct brain network by investigating how and why MS affects the network specifically.

Read the paper in the journal Brain Communications.