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Title: Novel approaches to studying the role of the anterior cingulate cortex in cognition and Parkinson's disease
Author: Weiss, Alexander R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 2067
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) have been linked to the emergence of exaggerated oscillatory activity in the 13 - 35 Hz beta range in recordings of the basal ganglia (BG) thalamocortical circuit of PD patients and animal models. PD patients and animal models also express dopamine-dependent cognitive impairments, implying effects of dopamine loss on the function of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). This thesis examines the electrophysiological behavior of the BG thalamocortical circuit in PD and dopamine-normal states during cognitive and motor activity. In vivo recordings in the BG of PD and dystonic patients were used to study the influence of dopamine during a test of executive function. Normal executive function was also investigated in the dopamine-healthy ACC of chronic pain patients. Both the BG and ACC exhibited lateralized electrophysiological responses to feedback valence. The BG also exhibited dopamine-sensitive event-related behavior. In additional experiments, chronically implanted recording electrodes in awake, behaving hemiparkinsonian rats were used to examine the transmission of synchronized oscillatory activity from the BG, through the ventral medial (VM) thalamus, to the ACC. Modulation of subthalamic nucleus, VM thalamus, and ACC activity during a simple cognitive/movement task was also investigated in hemiparkinsonian rats. Findings in the rat model suggest that ACC-mediated executive function is dopamine-sensitive and is reflected in the region's electrophysiology. These results may provide further insight into the significance of excessive oscillatory activity in PD and its influence on cognitive systems.
Supervisor: Walters, Judith R. ; Aziz, Tipu Z. Sponsor: Arthritis Research UK
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Neurology ; Parkinson's disease ; Neurosciences ; Cognitive neuroscience ; Prefrontal cortex ; Chronic pain ; Basal ganglia ; Parkinson's disease--animal models