Motor cortex stimulation: mild transient benefit in a primate model of Parkinson disease

Alex K. Wu B.S., Kevin W. McCairn B.S., Gabriel Zada M.D., Tiffany Wu B.S., and Robert S. Turner Ph.D.
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  • Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California
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Object

The authors sought to examine the therapeutic efficacy of motor cortex stimulation (MCS) in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)–treated macaques and to characterize therapeutic differences with varying modes, frequencies, and durations of stimulation.

Methods

Motor cortex stimulation was delivered at currents below motor threshold and at frequencies between 5 and 150 Hz through epidural electrodes over the primary motor cortex. The animals were studied during and without MCS using video analysis, activity logging, and food retrieval tasks. Animals were examined using two different stimulation protocols. The first protocol consisted of 1 hour of MCS therapy daily. The second protocol exposed the animal to continuous MCS for more than 24 hours with at least 2 weeks between MCS treatments.

Conclusions

Daily MCS yielded no consistent change in symptoms, but MCS at 2-week intervals resulted in significant increases in activity. Effects of biweekly MCS disappeared, however, within 24 hours of the onset of continuous MCS. In this study, MCS only temporarily reduced the severity of MPTP-induced parkinsonism.

Abbreviations used in this paper:GP = globus pallidus; MCS = motor cortex stimulation; MPTP = 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetra-hydropyridine; PD = Parkinson disease; rTMS = repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; SEM = standard error of the mean; TH = tyrosine hydroxylase.

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Contributor Notes

Address reprint requests to: Robert S. Turner, Ph.D., Department of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh, 4074 BST-3, 3501 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261-0001. email: rturner@pitt.edu.
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