Parkinson’s in a dish: Researchers reproduce brain oscillations
Abnormal brain oscillations first came to light decades ago when some Parkinson’s patients began undergoing deep brain stimulation as treatment once their medications ceased to be effective. Neurosurgeons doing the procedure noticed rhythmic bursts of activity or oscillations among neurons in patients when they used electrodes to override brain activity in order to stimulate the brain.
“Our bodies move because there is coordination between the contracting and relaxing of our muscles,” explained Feng. “It’s all exquisitely timed within the brain structure called basal ganglia.”
The rhythmic bursts of activity or oscillations that neurosurgeons saw in the brains of Parkinson’s patients signaled that something in that system had broken down but exactly how wasn’t clear.