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Establishing a Closed-Loop Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Circuit in a Parkinson’s Disease Rat Model

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder affecting more than 10 million people worldwide. PD is characterized by the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta causing diminished dopamine (DA) release in the striatum. DA reduction in the brain leads to motor dysfunctions such as resting tremor, bradykinesia, postural instability, and muscle stiffness. Routine treatment for symptoms is levodopa (precursor of DA) which causes side-effects like vomiting, hallucinations, confusion, and with prolonged used, dyskinesia. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) devices alleviate tremors and dyskinesia. Currently, DBS devices are open-looped and are continuously running. For this study, a PD rat model was used and trained to do a forelimb reaching task prior to DBS device implantation. The task and recorded motor cortex signals are integrated within the DBS device battery creating a closed-loop feedback system allowing the battery to run only when abnormal signals are detected, prolonging battery life.

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