Network Models of the Basal Ganglia in Parkinson’s Disease: Advances in Deep Brain Stimulation Through Model-Based Optimization

Part of the Springer Series in Cognitive and Neural Systems book series (SSCNS, volume 13)


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a movement disorder resulting from degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Electrical stimulation of the sub-cortical regions of the brain (basal ganglia – BG), also known as deep brain stimulation (DBS), is an effective therapy for the motor symptoms of PD. However, despite clear clinical benefits, the therapeutic mechanisms of DBS are not fully understood. Computational models of the BG play a vital role in investigation of the neural basis of PD and determining the therapeutic mechanisms of DBS. We review several conductance-based computational models of the BG published in the literature. First, we explain the different circuits within the BG network associated with movement control. Second, we provide insights gained from different computational models of the BG on the neural basis of PD and therapeutic mechanisms of DBS. Third, we discuss the functionality of these models to optimize DBS parameters. Finally, we present various opportunities available to optimize further DBS therapy by laying out the critical elements lacking in existing models.


Basal ganglia network model Parkinson’s disease Deep brain stimulation Model-based optimization Subcortical lesion Subthalamic nucleus Movement disorders Computational neuroscience Globus pallidus 



This work was supported by a grant from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH R37 NS040894).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurobiologyDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Department of NeurosurgeryDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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