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Deep Brain Stimulation for Stroke: Continuous Stimulation of the Pedunculopontine Tegmental Nucleus has no Impact on Skilled Walking in Rats After Photothrombotic Stroke

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 5 ]

Author(s):

Arne Bohr, Michael K. Schuhmann, Lena Papp, Jens Volkmann and Felix Fluri*   Pages 636 - 643 ( 8 )

Abstract:


Background: Gait impairment after stroke is considered as a loss of cerebral function but is also the result of dysfunctional cerebral signals travelling to the spinal motor centres. A therapeutic option to restore disturbed cerebral network activity is deep brain stimulation (DBS).

Methods: A promising target for neuromodulation might be the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg), which contributes to the initiation and control of gait. To test this hypothesis, we trained eighteen rats to cross a horizontal ladder and a wooden beam before inflicting a photothrombosis in the right sensorimotor cortex and implanting a stimulating electrode in the ipsilateral PPTg.

Results: Continuous high-frequency DBS (130 Hz; amplitude 55 ± 5 μA) of rats for 10 days yielded no significant improvement of skilled walking when examined with the ladder rung walking test and beam walking test compared to sham-stimulation.

Conclusion: In contrast to DBS of the cuneiform nucleus, PPTg-stimulation improves neither control of gait nor balance after stroke.

Keywords:

Deep brain stimulation, pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus, mesencephalic locomotor region, photothrombotic stroke, gait restoration, Beam-Walking-Test, Ladder-Rung-Walking-Test.

Affiliation:

Department of Neurology, University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Würzburg, Würzburg

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