The anatomy and localization of the pedunculopontine nucleus determined using probabilistic diffusion tractography [corrected].
Aravamuthan BR., Stein JF., Aziz TZ.
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) has recently been shown to effectively ameliorate medically intractable axial symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD). The effects of DBS are not limited to the targeted structure, but will affect the distributed anatomical networks to which the target structure belongs. Therefore, understanding the anatomical connections of the PPN will help elucidate treatment effects. Furthermore, establishing the topography of cortical and sub-cortical connections of the PPN in the human brain could aid accurate targeting of critical pathways in DBS. This article summarizes the connections of the PPN and the distribution of these connections within this nucleus (topography) as previously determined using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in healthy human volunteers and in a primate Macaca mulatta brain. These findings highlight DTI as a useful tool for surgical targeting for DBS of the PPN, and also show that DTI can be used to accurately probe the anatomy of the human and monkey brain in vivo.