Publications

Concept, neuroanatomy and surgical techniques

In addition to the well-recognized ventral intermediate nucleus (Vim) thalamotomy for the treatment of chronic therapy-resistant essential tremor (ET), an alternative approach targeting the posterior part of the subthalamus was proposed in the 1960s and early 1970s and then was reactualized as cerebellothalamic tractotomy (CTT) with the advent of MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) surgery.
There is a long history, beginning in the 1940s, of ablative neurosurgery on the pallidal efferent fibers to treat patients suffering from Parkinson's disease (PD). Since the early 1990s, we undertook a re-actualization of the approach to the subthalamic region, and proposed, on a histological basis, to target specifically the pallidothalamic tract at the level of Forel's field H1. This intervention, the pallidothalamic tractotomy (PTT), has been performed since 2011 using the MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) technique. A reappraisal of the histology of the pallidothalamic tract was combined recently with an optimization of our lesioning strategy using thermal dose control.

EEG techniques

Chronic neuropathic pain may require a neurosurgical treatment, but for reasons that have not been fully explored yet, a significant number of patients do not benefit from the intervention. We compared the resting EEG of 15 healthy controls to the EEG of 23 chronic neuropathic pain patients before and 12 months after treatment by the central lateral thalamotomy (CLT). A patient subgroup had a high (n = 14, pain relief (PR)  ≥ 50%) and another subgroup a low (n = 9, PR < 50%) postoperative PR. EEG spectral power and source localization of the high PR patients were normalized postoperatively. In contrast, low PR patients showed postoperative maintenance of insular, cingulate and prefrontal overactivities, and their frustration values were positively correlated with cingulate and prefrontal activity. These findings demonstrate a normalizing effect of CLT on cortical activity and suggest that treatment resistance is associated with a frustration-based dynamics.
Greater low frequency power (<8 Hz) in the electroencephalogram (EEG) at rest is normal in the immature developing brain of children when compared to adults. Children with epilepsy also have greater low frequency interictal resting EEG activity. Whether these power elevations reflect brain immaturity due to a developmental lag or the underlying epileptic pathophysiology is unclear.
The physiopathological mechanism underlying the tinnitus phenomenon is still the subject of an ongoing debate. Since oscillatory EEG activity is increasingly recognized as a fundamental hallmark of cortical integrative functions, this study investigates deviations from the norm of different resting EEG parameters in patients suffering from chronic tinnitus.

Epilepsy, Tinnitus and Neuropsychiatry

Since the first clinical application of the incisionless magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) technology only small series of patients have been reported, and thus only extrapolations of the procedure-related risks could be offered. In this study, the authors analyze side-effects and targeting accuracy in 180 consecutive treatments with MRgFUS for chronic therapy-resistant idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD), essential tremor (ET), cerebellar tremor (CT), and neuropathic pain (NP), all performed in their dedicated center.
Greater low frequency power (<8 Hz) in the electroencephalogram (EEG) at rest is normal in the immature developing brain of children when compared to adults. Children with epilepsy also have greater low frequency interictal resting EEG activity. Whether these power elevations reflect brain immaturity due to a developmental lag or the underlying epileptic pathophysiology is unclear.
The physiopathological mechanism underlying the tinnitus phenomenon is still the subject of an ongoing debate. Since oscillatory EEG activity is increasingly recognized as a fundamental hallmark of cortical integrative functions, this study investigates deviations from the norm of different resting EEG parameters in patients suffering from chronic tinnitus.

Essential Tremor

In addition to the well-recognized ventral intermediate nucleus (Vim) thalamotomy for the treatment of chronic therapy-resistant essential tremor (ET), an alternative approach targeting the posterior part of the subthalamus was proposed in the 1960s and early 1970s and then was reactualized as cerebellothalamic tractotomy (CTT) with the advent of MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) surgery.
Since the first clinical application of the incisionless magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) technology only small series of patients have been reported, and thus only extrapolations of the procedure-related risks could be offered. In this study, the authors analyze side-effects and targeting accuracy in 180 consecutive treatments with MRgFUS for chronic therapy-resistant idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD), essential tremor (ET), cerebellar tremor (CT), and neuropathic pain (NP), all performed in their dedicated center.
Already in the late 1960s and early 1970s, targeting of the “posterior subthalamic area (PSA)” was explored by different functional neurosurgical groups applying the radiofrequency (RF) technique to treat patients suffering from essential tremor (ET). Recent advances in magnetic resonance (MR)-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) technology offer the possibility to perform thermocoagulation of the cerebellothalamic fiber tract in the PSA without brain penetration, allowing a strong reduction of the procedure-related risks and increased accuracy. We describe here the first results of the MRgFUS cerebellothalamic tractotomy (CTT).

Neurogenic Pain

Since the first clinical application of the incisionless magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) technology only small series of patients have been reported, and thus only extrapolations of the procedure-related risks could be offered. In this study, the authors analyze side-effects and targeting accuracy in 180 consecutive treatments with MRgFUS for chronic therapy-resistant idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD), essential tremor (ET), cerebellar tremor (CT), and neuropathic pain (NP), all performed in their dedicated center.

Parkinson

There is a long history, beginning in the 1940s, of ablative neurosurgery on the pallidal efferent fibers to treat patients suffering from Parkinson's disease (PD). Since the early 1990s, we undertook a re-actualization of the approach to the subthalamic region, and proposed, on a histological basis, to target specifically the pallidothalamic tract at the level of Forel's field H1. This intervention, the pallidothalamic tractotomy (PTT), has been performed since 2011 using the MR-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) technique. A reappraisal of the histology of the pallidothalamic tract was combined recently with an optimization of our lesioning strategy using thermal dose control.