Towards Model-Based and Closed-loop Deep Brain Stimulation
Deep brain stimulation is widely employed in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and essential tremor, and is an emerging therapy for psychiatric disorders. Remarkably, despite twenty years of evidence of efficacy, the actual mechanism whereby high frequency (e.g., ~130 Hz) stimulation of the basal ganglia leads to therapeutic benefit in Parkinson's patients is still somewhat mysterious. We hope that experiment-validated mechanistic models will allow us to optimize DBS therapy beyond the crude, pacemaker-style patterns employed today.
Animal (specifically rat) experimental models of PD have allowed us to to develop and test computational models that in turn have inspired a new DBS stimulation paradigm. This talk will present our experience developing a rat model for DBS, neural recordings in awake rats during traditional and novel DBS stimulation paradigms, and a novel computational model that we think may be helpful in further refining DBS systems. In addition, we are in the process of developing new electrode materials that will potentially make is easier to simultaneously record and stimulate the nervous system.