A brief demonstration of frontostriatal connectivity in OCD patients with intracranial electrodes

Ezra E. Smith, Thomas Schüller, Daniel Huys, Juan Carlos Baldermann, Pablo Andrade, John JB Allen, Veerle Visser-Vandewalle, Markus Ullsperger, Theo O.J. Gruendler, Jens Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Closed-loop neuromodulation is presumed to be the logical evolution for improving the effectiveness of deep brain stimulation (DBS) treatment protocols (Widge et al., 2018). Identifying symptom-relevant biomarkers that provide meaningful feedback to stimulator devices is an important initial step in this direction. This report demonstrates a technique for assaying neural circuitry hypothesized to contribute to OCD and DBS treatment outcomes. We computed phase-lag connectivity between LFPs and EEGs in thirteen treatment-refractory OCD patients. Simultaneous recordings from scalp EEG and externalized DBS electrodes in the ventral capsule/ventral striatum (VC/VS) were collected at rest during the perioperative treatment stage. Connectivity strength between midfrontal EEG sensors and VC/VS electrodes correlated with baseline OCD symptoms and 12-month posttreatment OCD symptoms. Results are qualified by a relatively small sample size, and limitations regarding the conclusiveness of VS and mPFC as neural generators given some concerns about volume conduction. Nonetheless, findings are consistent with treatment-relevant tractography findings and theories that link frontostriatal hyperconnectivity to the etiopathogenesis of OCD. Findings support the continued investigation of connectivity-based assays for aiding in determination of optimal stimulation location, and are an initial step towards the identification of biomarkers that can guide closed-loop neuromodulation systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number117138
StatePublished - Oct 15 2020


  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Functional connectivity EEG
  • LFP
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Ventral capsule
  • Ventral striatum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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