Pedunculopontine nucleus electric stimulation alleviates akinesia independently of dopaminergic mechanisms.
Jenkinson N., Nandi D., Oram R., Stein JF., Aziz TZ.
The symptom of Parkinson's disease that is most disabling and difficult to treat is akinesia. We have previously shown that low-frequency stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus can alleviate such akinesia in a macaque rendered Parkinsonian using 1-methyl 4-phenyl 1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine. Here, we have extended that study to show that adding stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus to levodopa treatment in this Parkinsonian monkey increased its motor activity significantly more than levodopa alone. This additivity suggests that pedunculopontine nucleus stimulation may improve movement by acting at a site downstream from where levodopa therapy affects the basal ganglia.