A chemical called adenosine plays a key role in the beneficial effect of deep brain stimulation on tremor, reports a paper online in Nature Medicine.
Neurosurgeons use deep brain stimulation to treat a variety of movement disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and tremor, but it has been unclear how deep brain stimulation acts to improve these disorders.
Maiken Nedergaard and colleagues found that deep brain stimulation causes an increase in the amount of adenosine near the site of stimulation, which decreases the excitability of nearby neurons. In an animal model of tremor, adenosine infusion into the brain was sufficient to reduce tremor. These results are consistent with the known role of caffeine, an adenosine antagonist, to induce tremor. Adenosine administration might therefore be a new way to reverse tremor and improve the effectiveness of deep brain stimulation.
Maiken Nedergaard (University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA)
Abstract available online.
(C) Nature Medicine press release.
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