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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 262739, 7 pages
Research Article

A Numerical Study to Compare Stimulations by Intraoperative Microelectrodes and Chronic Macroelectrodes in the DBS Technique

1Department of Information Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunication, Sapienza University of Rome, 00184 Rome, Italy
2Italian Inter-University Center for the Study of Electromagnetic Fields and Biological Systems (ICEmB), 16145 Genova, Italy
3CNR Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto di Elettronica e di Ingegneria dell'Informazione e delle Telecomunicazioni IEIIT, 20133 Milano, Italy

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 29 August 2013

Academic Editor: Nader Pouratian

Copyright © 2013 A. Paffi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Deep brain stimulation is a clinical technique for the treatment of parkinson's disease based on the electric stimulation, through an implanted electrode, of specific basal ganglia in the brain. To identify the correct target of stimulation and to choose the optimal parameters for the stimulating signal, intraoperative microelectrodes are generally used. However, when they are replaced with the chronic macroelectrode, the effect of the stimulation is often very different. Here, we used numerical simulations to predict the stimulation of neuronal fibers induced by microelectrodes and macroelectrodes placed in different positions with respect to each other. Results indicate that comparable stimulations can be obtained if the chronic macroelectrode is correctly positioned with the same electric center of the intraoperative microelectrode. Otherwise, some groups of fibers may experience a completely different electric stimulation.