In general there is a wide gap between experimental animal results, especially with respect to neuroanatomical data, and computational modeling. In order to be able to investigate the anatomical and functional properties of afferent and efferent connections between the different nuclei of the basal ganglia, similar studies need to be performed as described in this review for the Substantia Nigra. These studies, though very time-consuming, are essential to decide which pathways play important roles in normal functioning and therefore need to be included in modeling studies. In addition, it should be known what neuroanatomical changes take place resulting from the neurodegeneration associated with Parkinson’s disease and how they affect network behavior. For instance, the direct effects of DBS on motor control are of interest, but since DBS has a low threshold to side effects, additional non-motor pathways are expected to be involved. Including these pathways in network models may shed light on the extent and effect of stimulation. Similarly, as PPN stimulation may have a beneficial influence on gait and balance, different pathways are important regarding the different motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
- Deep Brain Stimulation
- in-vitro model
- computational model
- Idiopathic Parkinson's disease