Bernstein Center Freiburg

Bernstein Seminar

February 23, 2021
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Bernstein Seminar

MRC Career Development Fellow | Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences | MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit | University of Oxford | UK

Exploring the role of neural synchrony in pathology

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


The talk is open to the public.
Guests are cordially invited!

Hosted by Ad Aertsen

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Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID and password will be sent with e-mail invitation
or contact Fiona Siegfried

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Our everyday actions, such as the coordination of movement, are thought to involve multiple brain regions, which exchange information through transient neural synchrony. Emerging evidence suggests that a range of neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s disease and Essential Tremor, could be attributed to dysfunction of this fundamental neural property. During these disorders, disease symptoms are strongly correlated with the extent of neural synchrony. Deep brain stimulation is commonly used to reduce disease symptoms by delivering high frequency electrical pulses to key brain regions. When stimulation is effective in suppressing disease symptoms, it has been shown that excessive neural synchrony observed across the motor circuit is also significantly reduced.

I will first describe transient changes that take place across the motor circuit during Parkinson’s disease, and highlight how subcortical neural dynamics are modulated by spontaneous episodes of neural synchrony underlying disease symptoms. I will then present how brain stimulation could be used to probe different disease circuits, and how these insights could be leveraged to develop novel therapies. I will finally present a stimulation strategy called phase-specific brain stimulation, which aims to selectively regulate pathological neural synchrony, and highlight some experimental and theoretical results that show the effect of this stimulation strategy.

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