Research Shows Promising Results for Parkinson's Disease Treatment

New protocols extend therapeutic benefits of deep brain stimulation


  • 梅隆理工学院

Researchers from CA88 have found a way to make deep brain stimulation (DBS) more precise, resulting in therapeutic effects that outlast what is currently available. 这项工作由 Aryn Gittis 和他的同事在 CMU Gittis实验室, will significantly advance the study of Parkinson's disease. 这份报纸今天在 科学.

DBS allows researchers and doctors to use thin electrodes implanted in the brain to send electrical signals to the part of the brain that controls movement. It is a proven way to help control unwanted movement in the body, but patients must receive continuous electrical stimulation to get relief from their symptoms. If the stimulator is turned off, the symptoms return immediately.

吉蒂斯是加州大学的一名生物科学副教授 梅隆理工学院 和教员 神经科学研究所他说,这项新研究可能会改变这种情况.

“通过寻找一种具有长期影响的干预方法, CA88官网的希望是大大减少刺激时间, therefore minimizing side effects and prolonging battery life of implants,”Gittis说.

Gittis 为这种治疗方法奠定基础 in 2017, when her lab identified specific classes of neurons within the brain's motor circuitry that could be targeted to provide long-lasting relief of motor symptoms in Parkinson's models. 在那工作, 该实验室使用了光遗传学, a technique that uses light to control genetically modified neurons. 然而,光遗传学目前还不能用于人类.

从那时起, she has been trying to find a strategy that is more readily translated to patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. Her team found success in mice with a new DBS protocol that uses short bursts of electrical stimulation.

"This is a big advance over other existing treatments,”Gittis说. "In other DBS protocols, as soon as you turn the stimulation off, the symptoms come back. This seems to provide longer lasting benefits — at least four times longer than conventional DBS."

在新的协议中, the researchers target specific neuronal subpopulations in the globus pallidus, 大脑基底神经节的一个区域, 用短暂的电刺激. Gittis said that researchers have been trying for years to find ways to deliver stimulation in such a cell-type specific manner.

“这个概念并不新鲜. We used a 'bottom up' approach to drive cell type specificity. We studied the biology of these cells and identified the inputs that drive them. We found a sweet spot that allowed us to utilize the underlying biology," she said.

特蕾莎修女Spix, 论文的第一作者, 说虽然有很多强有力的理论, 科学家们还没有完全理解脑起搏器为何有效.

“CA88官网有点像在玩黑盒子. We don't yet understand every single piece of what's going on in there, but our short burst approach seems to provide greater symptom relief. The change in pattern lets us differentially affect the cell types," she said.

斯皮克斯为她的博士学位辩护.D. in 7月, is excited about the direct connection this research has to clinical studies.

"A lot of times those of us that work in basic science research labs don't necessarily have a lot of contact with actual patients. This research started with very basic circuitry questions but led to something that could help patients in the near future,”Spix说.

下一个, neurosurgeons at Pittsburgh's Allegheny Health Network (AHN) will use Gittis' research in a safety and tolerability study in humans. 内斯特Tomycz, 安哲秀神经外科医生, 说研究人员很快就会开始随机化, double blind crossover study of patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. The patients will be followed for 12 months to assess improvements in their Parkinson's disease motor symptoms and frequency of adverse events.

"Aryn Gittis continues to do spectacular research which is elucidating our understanding of basal ganglia pathology in movement disorders. We are excited that her research on burst stimulation shows a potential to improve upon DBS which is already a well-established and effective therapy for Parkinson's disease,”Tomycz说.

唐纳德·怀廷, the chief medical officer at AHN and one of the nation's foremost experts in the use of DBS, said the new protocol could open doors for experimental treatments.

"Aryn is helping us highlight in the animal model things that are going to change the future of what we do for our patients. She's actually helping evolve the care treatment of Parkinson's patients for decades to come with her research,”怀廷说.

Tomycz同意. "This work is really going to help design the future technology that we're using in the brain and will help us to get better outcomes for these patients."

Additional co-authors of the study are Shruti Nanivadekar, Noelle Toong, Irene M. Kaplow,布莱恩·R. Isett, Yazel Goksen和Andreas R. Pfenning.

The research was funded by the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Lane伙伴计划, 迈克尔·J. 福克斯基金会和国家卫生研究院.


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