Simulating Cognitive Deficits in Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is caused by the accelerated death of dopamine–producing neurons. Numerous studies documenting cognitive deficits of people with PD have revealed impairment in a variety of tasks related to memory, learning, visuospatial skills, and attention. In this chapter, we describe a general approach used to model PD and review three computational models that have been used to simulate cognitive deficits related to PD. The models presentation is followed by a discussion of the role of glia cells and astrocytes in neurodegenerative diseases. We propose that more biologically–realistic computational models of neurodegenerative diseases that include astrocytes may lead to a better understanding and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases in general and PD in particular.
KeywordsParkinson’s disease Dopamine Astrocytes
This research was funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health, award #2R01MH063760.
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