The Bernstein Center Freiburg

Informal Seminar
Ludmila Zaytseva

Higher School of Economics
National Research University
Nizhny Novgorod branch
Department of Business
Informatics and Applied Mathematics

Investigation of neural mechanisms underlying functioning of deep brain stimulation
Thursday, July 21, 2011

16:00 h sharp
Library BCF
1st floor
Hansastr. 9a
In the last decade deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has emerged as a successful therapy for chemically untreatable Parkinson's disease (PD). Its success in alleviating PD symptoms has inspired DBS treatment for various other brain disorders including epilepsy, depression and schizophrenia. With its amazing success and growing use it comes as a surprise that neural mechanisms underlying the functioning of DBS are still only poorly understood. Only recently with the help of opto-genetics based methods, few key neural elements have been identified that maybe activated or deactivated by the DBS of the STN. Inspired by these new findings we explore the effects of stimulating different neural elements in a simple model of basal ganglia. We show that to quench the beta band oscillations which are closely linked with the motor symptoms of the PD, the STN should be inhibited. We discuss multiple mechanisms by which inhibition of STN can be achieved. In addition, we show that aperiodic stimulation of the STN may be equally effective in quenching the oscillations. Finally, we discuss how existing models can be extended to introduce the known spatial inhomogeneities in the STN network and study effects of spatially distributed stimulation protocols on the dynamics of the basal ganglia.

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