Chronic spinal cord electrical stimulation protects against 6-hydroxydopamine lesions.
Although L-dopa continues to be the gold standard for treating motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), it presents long-term complications. Deep brain stimulation is effective, but only a small percentage of idiopathic PD patients are eligible. Based on results in animal models and a handful of patients, dorsal column stimulation (DCS) has been proposed as a potential therapy for PD. To date, the long-term effects of DCS in animal models have not been quantified. Here, we report that DCS applied twice a week in rats treated with bilateral 6-OHDA striatal infusions led to a significant improvement in symptoms. DCS-treated rats exhibited a higher density of dopaminergic innervation in the striatum and higher neuronal cell count in the substantia nigra pars compacta compared to a control group. These results suggest that DCS has a chronic therapeutical and neuroprotective effect, increasing its potential as a new clinical option for treating PD patients.
Yadav, AP; Fuentes, R; Zhang, H; Vinholo, T; Wang, C-H; Freire, MAM; Nicolelis, MAL
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