BrainGain: Targeting the brain with DBS in Parkinson’s disease

Brain-Computer and Computer-Brain Interfaces: devices for detecting and modifying brain activity

BrainGain is a Dutch research consortium consisting of researchers, industry and potential users of Brain-Computer and Computer-Brain interfaces. The program started in September 2007 and is funded by SmartMix, a Dutch initiative to support applied research.

Project description

Targeting the brain with DBS in Parkinson’s disease

Finding optimal DBS settings is complicated by uncertainties regarding optimum targets leading to therapeutic benefits as well as the low thresholds for side effects. It is generally accepted that a better targeted stimulation will cause fewer adverse effects. In this work package we will research new methodologies to more selectively stimulate the motor-circuits in the subthalamic nucleus in order to improve DBS’ efficacy for Parkinson’s disease. In order to selectively stimulate the motor part of the subthalamic nucleus (STN), it is crucial (a) to first clearly delineate the target; and (b) to predict the distribution of stimulation for given settings. In this work package, local electric stimulation of the motor cortex is used to activate the STN via the hyper-direct and direct pathways. The spread of stimulation current and the local reaction of the neuronal population will be modeled. This research will deliver validated models for preoperative prediction of DBS activation volumes, a novel method for intra-operative target selection, as well as detailed functional mapping of the motor target for DBS.

Research themes

From Neural Circuit Behaviour to Human Sensory-Motor Function

Principal Investigator tracks

Ciska Heida: Central Motor Control


Dutch technology foundation STW

STW logo

People involved

Dr. Ciska Heida

Prof. dr. Peter Veltink

Ir. Daphne Zwartjes-de Klerk





Project website