Researchers Use Deep Brain Stimulation to Localize Disrupted Neural Pathways

Affected brain circuits in Parkinson’s disease (green), dystonia (yellow), Tourette’s syndrome (blue), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (red). Inset: the optimal target areas for deep brain stimulation in the basal ganglia. © Charité | Barbara Hollunder

When certain connections in the brain do not function correctly, disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and Tourette’s syndrome may result. Targeted stimulation of specific areas in the brain can help alleviate symptoms. To pinpoint the exact therapeutic target areas of the brain, a team led by researchers from Charité-Universitätsmedizin and Brigham and Women’s Hospital analyzed data from patients across the globe who had undergone implantation of tiny electrodes to stimulate the brain. The result is a unique map of disrupted brain networks that was published February 22, 2024 in Nature Neuroscience. The open-access article is titled “Mapping Dysfunctional Circuits in the Frontal Cortex Using Deep Brain Stimulation.”

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