Deep Brain Stimulations at Low Frequency Activates Cognition

Deep brain stimulations at low frequency activates cognition

A neuroscience study shows that low frequency stimulation of a deep brain region has the potential to improve cognitive function for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Deep brain stimulation is an emerging field and increasing incidence of Parkinson’s disease is said to drive demand for deep brain stimulation, as per deep brain stimulation market report published by Coherent Market Insights.

A recent study was conducted on November 28, 2017, in journal Brain, which emphasized the broader potential of brain stimulation for treating other cognitive diseases.

The new work by a team at Iowa Neuroscience Institute at the University of Iowa provides the first-ever direct evidence of a connection in the human brain between the thinking region of the brain (the frontal cortex) and a deeper structure called the subthalamic nucleus (STN) that is involved in controlling movement.

The study shows that low frequency stimulation of the STN improves the performance of PD patients, while performing a simple cognitive task that usually is incapable for PD patients.

““It’s not very often that you identify a new connection in the human brain,” says Nandakumar Narayanan, MD, PhD, UI assistant professor of neurology in the UI Carver College of Medicine and senior study author. “The existence of this hyperdirect pathway from the prefrontal cortex to the STN has been bandied about for around a decade, but this is the first time we’ve experimentally shown that it exists and functions in people.

“We were also able to show that if we stimulate the STN, we change the frontal cortical activity and we think it’s by this pathway,” he adds. “And if we stimulate the STN and change cortical activity, we can actually change behavior in a beneficial way, improving the patients’ cognitive performance.”

The new findings increase the possibility that STN deep brain stimulation at low frequency could improve cognitive symptoms in PD and even other neurologic and psychiatric diseases.

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