Summary of the work programme

The aim of this project is to clarify the mechanisms underlying deep brain stimulation (DBS) for dystonia, using suitable animal models of different types of human dystonia. Already short-term, antidystonic effective stimulation leads to dampening of cortico-striatal synaptic communication. Ongoing studies focus on long-term stimulation, now made feasible by implantable stimulators. The project includes examinations on: effects on the severity of dystonia, mechanisms underlying DBS (especially oscillations and activity propagation patterns), biomarkers of therapeutic outcome (focusing on EEG and local field potential markers for feedback control), and on the role of functional plasticity and network connectivity for stimulation effects.