Neural oscillations during sleep in deep brain stimulation patients

Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 5:45pm

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective treatment for medically intractable motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD) such as tremor, slowness of movement, and rigidity. This therapy, analogous to a cardiac pacemaker for the brain, involves placing a stimulating lead into the deep brain structures (i.e. subthalamic nucleus, thalamus, globus pallidus) to modulate abnormal electrical circuit activity and improve motor function. Our lab focuses on elucidating the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease and the mechanism of action of DBS to treat the symptoms in both human and NHP studies. Further, there is growing interest and need to address sleep disorders in PD that are sometimes overlooked in patients receiving DBS due to the success of this therapy treating the motor symptoms. Almost every patient with PD has some form of burdensome sleep disorder that degrades her or his quality of life. Current standard of care includes pharmacological treatments that often are accompanied by unwanted side effects and have inconsistent efficacy from patient to patient. We are conducting a new study to investigate sleep oscillations in patients with DBS for PD to help better understand the role the therapy to treat such non-motor symptoms. The project will involve recording and analyzing brain local field potentials and patient behavior in a clinical setting.