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Original Research ARTICLE


The Role of inhibition in generating and controlling Parkinson’s disease oscillations in the basal ganglia

  • 1 Bernstein Center Freiburg, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 2 Department of Neurobiology and Biophysics, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 3 Computational Neuroscience, University of Freiburg, Germany

Movement disorders in Parkinson’s disease (PD) are commonly associated with slow oscillations and increased synchrony of neuronal activity in the basal ganglia. The neural mechanisms underlying this dynamic network dysfunction, however, are only poorly understood. Here, we show that the strength of inhibitory inputs from striatum to globus pallidus external (GPe) is a key parameter controlling oscillations in the basal ganglia. Specifically, the increase in striatal activity observed in PD is sufficient to unleash the oscillations in the basal ganglia. This finding allows us to propose a unified explanation for different phenomena: absence of oscillation in the healthy state of the basal ganglia, oscillations in dopamine-depleted state and quenching of oscillations under deep-brain-stimulation (DBS). These novel insights help us to better understand and optimize the function of DBS protocols. Furthermore, studying the model behavior under transient increase of activity of the striatal neurons projecting to the indirect pathway, we are able to account for both motor impairment in PD patients and for reduced response inhibition in DBS implanted patients.

Keywords: basal ganglia, Parkinson’s disease, oscillations, deep-brain-stimulation, spiking neural networks

Citation: Kumar A, Cardanobile S, Rotter S and Aertsen A (2011) The role of inhibition in generating and controlling Parkinson’s disease oscillations in the basal ganglia. Front. Syst. Neurosci. 5:86. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2011.00086

Received: 26 May 2011; Accepted: 03 October 2011;
Published online: 24 October 2011.

Edited by:

Raphael Pinaud, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, USA

Reviewed by:

Mark D. Humphries, Ecole Normale Superieure, France
Rafal Bogacz, University of Bristol, UK
Alan Dorval, University of Utah, USA

Copyright: © 2011 Kumar, Cardanobile, Rotter and Aertsen. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.

*Correspondence: Ad Aertsen, Department of Neurobiology and Biophysics, University of Freiburg, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany. e-mail: aertsen@biologie.uni-freiburg.de


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