Event Time and Location: Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 3PM, Steinman Hall 402

George McConnell, PhD (Stevens Institute of Technology), Why Random Patterns of Deep Brain Stimulation Less Effectively Treat Parkinson’s Disease: Insights from In Vivo Studies

Abstract: Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus effectively treats several motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD), however, the mechanisms of action of DBS are unknown. Random temporal patterns of DBS are less effective than regular DBS, but the neural basis for this dependence on temporal pattern of stimulation is unclear. We quantified behavior and single-unit neuronal activity in parkinsonian rats to test the hypothesis that the ineffectiveness of irregular DBS is caused by a failure to mask low-frequency oscillatory activity. Irregular DBS relieved symptoms less effectively than regular DBS, even when delivered at a high average rate. The reduced effectiveness of random DBS paralleled a failure to suppress low-frequency oscillatory activity and suggest that long pauses during random DBS are responsible for the reduced effectiveness, because these pauses enable the propagation of low-frequency oscillatory activity. These results demonstrate a correlation between efficacy of DBS, temporal regularity of stimulus trains, and changes in neuronal oscillatory activity in the basal ganglia, highlighting the importance of considering temporal patterns – as opposed to simply the rate – of both stimulation and neuronal firing in studying the mechanisms of DBS for neurological disorders.

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