We are seeing patients in-person and through Video Visits. Learn more about how we’re keeping you safe and please review our updated visitor policy. Please also consider supporting Weill Cornell Medicine’s efforts to support our front-line workers.

Robust modulation of arousal regulation, performance, and frontostriatal activity through central thalamic deep brain stimulation in healthy nonhuman primates.

TitleRobust modulation of arousal regulation, performance, and frontostriatal activity through central thalamic deep brain stimulation in healthy nonhuman primates.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBaker JL, Ryou J-W, Wei XF, Butson CR, Schiff ND, Purpura KP
JournalJ Neurophysiol
Volume116
Issue5
Pagination2383-2404
Date Published2016 Nov 01
ISSN1522-1598
KeywordsAnimals, Arousal, Corpus Striatum, Deep Brain Stimulation, Frontal Lobe, Macaca mulatta, Neural Pathways, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time, Thalamus
Abstract

The central thalamus (CT) is a key component of the brain-wide network underlying arousal regulation and sensory-motor integration during wakefulness in the mammalian brain. Dysfunction of the CT, typically a result of severe brain injury (SBI), leads to long-lasting impairments in arousal regulation and subsequent deficits in cognition. Central thalamic deep brain stimulation (CT-DBS) is proposed as a therapy to reestablish and maintain arousal regulation to improve cognition in select SBI patients. However, a mechanistic understanding of CT-DBS and an optimal method of implementing this promising therapy are unknown. Here we demonstrate in two healthy nonhuman primates (NHPs), Macaca mulatta, that location-specific CT-DBS improves performance in visuomotor tasks and is associated with physiological effects consistent with enhancement of endogenous arousal. Specifically, CT-DBS within the lateral wing of the central lateral nucleus and the surrounding medial dorsal thalamic tegmental tract (DTTm) produces a rapid and robust modulation of performance and arousal, as measured by neuronal activity in the frontal cortex and striatum. Notably, the most robust and reliable behavioral and physiological responses resulted when we implemented a novel method of CT-DBS that orients and shapes the electric field within the DTTm using spatially separated DBS leads. Collectively, our results demonstrate that selective activation within the DTTm of the CT robustly regulates endogenous arousal and enhances cognitive performance in the intact NHP; these findings provide insights into the mechanism of CT-DBS and further support the development of CT-DBS as a therapy for reestablishing arousal regulation to support cognition in SBI patients.

DOI10.1152/jn.01129.2015
Alternate JournalJ. Neurophysiol.
PubMed ID27582298
PubMed Central IDPMC5116485