February 22, 2024

Nerd News: Parkinson’s Disease in Focus

Neuroprosthesis aims to help with loss of movement and there may be a link between Parkinson’s disease, hypothalamus, and depression. You can read all about it in this issue of Nerd News.

Parkinson’s disease: neural prostheses in the spinal cord

people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) in the late stages often experiences debilitating loss of movement. These patients are often resistant to currently available treatments. To alleviate this deficit, researchers developed a neural prosthesis. This works in a closed circuit and targets the dorsal root entry areas. This, in turn, is fanaticism Lumbosacral slices, allowing to reproduce the normal spatio-temporal activation of the lumbosacral spinal cord (during walking). This aims to counter the loss of movement associated with Parkinson’s disease.

The prosthesis was tested in a non-human primate model. The result: Neuroprosthesis not only alleviated the motor deficit, but also restored the ability to walk. The researchers then implanted the neural prosthesis in a 62-year-old man. He had a 30-year history of Parkinson’s disease – with severe gait disturbances and frequent falls. He did not respond to currently available treatments.

It has been found that the artificial nervous system works with deep brain stimulation Subthalamic nucleus and dopaminergic replacement therapies. This reduced asymmetry and promoted longer strides. Improvement in balance was also noted.

Well, strange? You can read more here.

Where does aversion actually occur in the body?

Aversion is the opposite of reward and plays an important role in making us avoid things that make us feel bad. Strong activation of the brain’s aversion system is known to occur in humans depression He can drive. In a new study, researchers not only discovered the location in the brain where aversion occurs, but also identified neural circuits that originate in the subthalamic nucleus and are directly linked to the brain’s emotional system, which is activated during severe discomfort.

“That the subthalamus produces aversion and avoidance behavior is an important finding for two main reasons. It expands our understanding of the brain’s emotional system and how brain activity contributes to psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety. carelessness He can drive. It could also explain why people with Parkinson’s disease… Deep brain stimulation (DBS) These types of side effects can occur, explains Asa McKenzie, lead author of the study.

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In Parkinson’s disease, the thalamus is overactive. Stimulating this brain area in critically ill Parkinson’s patients using deep brain stimulation with an implant Electrodes This “corrects” and eliminates tremors and other motor problems. Treatment often works very well. However, some patients experience side effects such as severe depression. “Now that we can show that the hypothalamus has a direct connection to aversion and is connected to the depression center in the brain, we can understand and explain these side effects in neurobiological terms,” McKenzie says.

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Image source: Natalia Bluth, Unsplash