In this webinar, Louise Parr-Brownlie, Ph.D., and Conor Underwood, Ph.D., provide an overview of their research involving chronic stimulation of the motor thalamus in Parkinsonian rats, using the Kaha Sciences Optogenetics Biopotential Telemeter.
Key Learning Objectives:
- Understanding how a chronically implanted optogenetic stimulation device functions and how it was developed
- Reviewing the surgical procedure to chronically implant the Kaha Sciences Optogenetics Biopotential Telemeter from ADInstruments
- Discussing the tips and tricks for post-operative care and management for this procedure
Electrical deep brain stimulation is an effective treatment for people living with Parkinson’s disease. However, some patients experience stimulation-induced side effects, such as cognitive decline and worsening of gait. Non-selective electrical stimulation of neurons and anatomical pathways underlies some of these side effects.
Louise Parr-Brownlie, Ph.D., and Conor Underwood, Ph.D. hypothesized that optogenetic stimulation might be a highly-selective alternative to deep brain stimulation, which might avoid some of the harmful side effects of electrical stimulation. They have found that acute optogenetic stimulation of the motor thalamus can recover movements in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease. As a critical step to translating optogenetic stimulation to humans, their study optimized the design of an implantable device to deliver chronic (2 months) motor thalamus stimulation in Parkinsonian rats to ultimately improve movements, including activities of daily living. Surgical implantation of these devices is technically demanding, and the limited fiber flexibility makes this more challenging. In this webinar, Louise and Conor will outline the surgical procedure, and post-operative management requirements, and will discuss this study and the future directions for their work.
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About the speakers:
Conor Underwood, Ph.D.
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Anatomy
University of Otago
Conor Underwood is a passionate early-career scientist with a keen interest in novel technologies for neuroscience research. His research aims to characterize and treat thalamocortical dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease (post-doc) and hypothalamic dysfunction in kidney disease (Ph.D.).