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Neural code alterations and abnormal time patterns in Parkinson's disease


Andres, D S; Cerquetti, D F; Merello, M (2015). Neural code alterations and abnormal time patterns in Parkinson's disease. Journal of Neural Engineering:1-9.

Abstract

Objective. The neural code used by the basal ganglia is a current question in neuroscience, relevant for the understanding of the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease. While a rate code is known to participate in the communication between the basal ganglia and the motor thalamus/cortex, different lines of evidence have also favored the presence of complex time patterns in the discharge of the basal ganglia. To gain insight into the way the basal ganglia code information, we studied the activity of the globus pallidus pars interna (GPi), an output node of the circuit. Approach. We implemented the 6-hydroxydopamine model of Parkinsonism in Sprague-Dawley rats, and recorded the spontaneous discharge of single GPi neurons, in head-restrained conditions at full alertness. Analyzing the temporal structure function, we looked for characteristic scales in the neuronal discharge of the GPi. Main results. At a low-scale, we observed the presence of dynamic processes, which allow the transmission of time patterns. Conversely, at a middle-scale, stochastic processes force the use of a rate code. Regarding the time patterns transmitted, we measured the word length and found that it is increased in Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, it showed a positive correlation with the frequency of discharge, indicating that an exacerbation of this abnormal time pattern length can be expected, as the dopamine depletion progresses. Significance. We conclude that a rate code and a time pattern code can co-exist in the basal ganglia at different temporal scales. However, their normal balance is progressively altered and replaced by pathological time patterns in Parkinson's disease.

Abstract

Objective. The neural code used by the basal ganglia is a current question in neuroscience, relevant for the understanding of the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease. While a rate code is known to participate in the communication between the basal ganglia and the motor thalamus/cortex, different lines of evidence have also favored the presence of complex time patterns in the discharge of the basal ganglia. To gain insight into the way the basal ganglia code information, we studied the activity of the globus pallidus pars interna (GPi), an output node of the circuit. Approach. We implemented the 6-hydroxydopamine model of Parkinsonism in Sprague-Dawley rats, and recorded the spontaneous discharge of single GPi neurons, in head-restrained conditions at full alertness. Analyzing the temporal structure function, we looked for characteristic scales in the neuronal discharge of the GPi. Main results. At a low-scale, we observed the presence of dynamic processes, which allow the transmission of time patterns. Conversely, at a middle-scale, stochastic processes force the use of a rate code. Regarding the time patterns transmitted, we measured the word length and found that it is increased in Parkinson's disease. Furthermore, it showed a positive correlation with the frequency of discharge, indicating that an exacerbation of this abnormal time pattern length can be expected, as the dopamine depletion progresses. Significance. We conclude that a rate code and a time pattern code can co-exist in the basal ganglia at different temporal scales. However, their normal balance is progressively altered and replaced by pathological time patterns in Parkinson's disease.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:19 Feb 2016 10:42
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 20:04
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN:1741-2552
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1088/1741-2560/12/2/026004

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