Project 5

Emotional processing in the limbic cortex – cortex – basal ganglia loop.

Affective disturbances such as emotional lability, depression, but also maniac episodes occur in up to 25% of patients undergoing deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) for severe Parkinson’s disease (PD). At the same time, modulation of affect is the major goal of deep brain stimulation in patients with therapy refractory depression (TRD).

These observations have lead to questions which remained unanswered up to date: How does DBS alter the mood or affective state of a patient? What are the specific roles of the different limbic cortex basal ganglia nuclei for emotional processing? Which patients are most at risk for adverse effects and which have the most benefit from DBS therapy?

In Project 5 we address these questions using direct recordings of multi unit activity (MUA) and local field potentials (LFP) of DBS therapy related areas in the limbic cortex – basal ganglia – loop (STN, subgenual cingulate cortex, Ncl. Accumbens, Bed nucleus of stria terminalis). We will characterize neuronal correlates of emotional processing in patients with PD and TRD and correlate these with relevant clinical and behavioural parameters in order to better understand the influence of DBS on emotional behaviour.

Specifically we aim to establish neurophysiological markers to identify PD patients with an increased risk to develop affective disorders under DBS therapy. In patients with TRD we plan to characterize such markers to predict the therapeutic benefit, to optimize the neurosurgical targeting and to find the best DBS stimulation parameters.

Prof. Dr. Andrea Kühn, Principal Investigator
Charité – Campus Virchow Klinikum
Department of Neurology / AG Bewegungsstörungen
Augustenburger Platz 1
13353 Berlin
Tel.: +49-30-450 560 123 (Secretariat)
Fax: +49-30-450 560 901
E-mail: andrea.kuehn@charite.de
Dr. Christof Brücke, Postdoc
Charité – Campus Virchow Klinikum
Department of Neurology / AG Bewegungsstörungen
Augustenburger Platz 1
13353 Berlin
Tel.: +49-30-450 660 279
Fax: +49-30-450 560 938
E-mail: christof.bruecke@charite.de
Dr. Julius Huebl, Postdoc
Charité – Campus Virchow Klinikum
Department of Neurology / AG Bewegungsstörungen
Augustenburger Platz 1
13353 Berlin
Tel.: +49-30-450 660 279
Fax: +49-30-450 560 938
E-mail: julius.huebl@charite.de
Dr. Angela Merkl, Psychiatrist (Rahel-Hirsch Scholar)
Charité – Campus Virchow Klinikum
Department of Neurology / AG Bewegungsstörungen
Augustenburger Platz 1
13353 Berlin
Tel.: +49-30-450 576 819
Fax: +49-30-450 560 938
E-Mail: angela.merkl@charite.de
Wolf-Julian Neumann, PhD Student
Charité – Campus Virchow Klinikum
Department of Neurology / AG Bewegungsstörungen
Augustenburger Platz 1
13353 Berlin
Tel.: +49-30-450 576 819
Fax: +49-30-450 560 938
E-mail: julian.neumann@charite.de