Synchrony in Parkinson’s disease: Importance of intrinsic properties of the external globus pallidus

Bettina Schwab*, Tjitske Heida, Yan Zhao, Enrico Marani, Stephan A. van Gils, Richard J.A. van Wezel

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)
    62 Downloads (Pure)


    The mechanisms for the emergence and transmission of synchronized oscillations in Parkinson’s disease, which are potentially causal to motor deficits, remain debated. Aside from the motor cortex and the subthalamic nucleus, the external globus pallidus (GPe) has been shown to be essential for the maintenance of these oscillations and plays a major role in sculpting neural network activity in the basal ganglia (BG). While neural activity of the healthy GPe shows almost no correlations between pairs of neurons, prominent synchronization in the β frequency band arises after dopamine depletion. Several studies have proposed that this shift is due to network interactions between the different BG nuclei, including the GPe. However, recent studies demonstrate an important role for the properties of neurons within the GPe. In this review, we will discuss these intrinsic GPe properties and review proposed mechanisms for activity decorrelation within the dopamine-intact GPe. Failure of the GPe to desynchronize correlated inputs can be a possible explanation for synchronization in the whole BG. Potential triggers of synchronization involve the enhancement of GPe-GPe inhibition and changes in ion channel function in GPe neurons.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalFrontiers in systems neuroscience
    Issue number60
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2013


    • GPe-GPe synapses
    • Dopamine Depletion
    • NaF Channels
    • HCN Channels
    • External Globus Pallidus
    • Desynchronization
    • Plasticity
    • SK Channels
    • UT-Gold-D


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