Psychostimulant effect of levodopa: reversing sensitisation is possible
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Levodopa therapy in Parkinson's disease (PD) is associated with non-motor complications resulting from sensitisation of the ventral striatum system. Recent studies showed an improvement in non-motor complications in PD patients with subthalamic stimulation. We hypothesised that ventral striatum desensitisation might contribute to this improvement. METHODS: Psychostimulant effects of levodopa were prospectively assessed in 36 PD patients with an acute levodopa challenge, before and 1 year after chronic subthalamic stimulation, using the Addiction Research Centre Inventory euphoria subscale. Postoperative evaluation was performed with the same dose of levodopa used in the preoperative assessment and after switching off stimulation. Preoperative and postoperative non-motor fluctuations in everyday life were investigated with the Ardouin Scale. Furthermore, in order to artificially reproduce non-motor fluctuations, a levodopa challenge keeping subthalamic stimulation on was performed to assess depression, anxiety and motivation before and after surgery under the different medication conditions. RESULTS: After 1 year of chronic subthalamic stimulation with 60.3% reduction in dopaminergic medication, the acute psychostimulant effects of levodopa were significantly reduced compared with preoperatively, as measured by the euphoria subscale (7.22±4.75 vs 4.75±5.68; p=0.0110). On chronic subthalamic stimulation and with markedly reduced dopaminergic medication, non-motor fluctuations were significantly improved. While off medication/on stimulation scores of depression and anxiety were improved, in the on medication/on stimulation condition the motivation score worsened. CONCLUSIONS: Acute psychostimulant effects of levodopa (off stimulation) were significantly reduced 1 year after surgery. These findings are likely due to desensitisation of the ventral striatum, allowed by the reduction of dopaminergic treatment, and the replacement of pulsatile treatment with continuous subthalamic stimulation.
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ABSTRACT: Emotional processing is lateralized to the non-dominant brain hemisphere. However, there is no clear spatial model for lateralization of emotional domains in the basal ganglia. The subthalamic nucleus (STN), an input structure in the basal ganglia network, plays a major role in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). This role is probably not limited only to the motor deficits of PD, but may also span the emotional and cognitive deficits commonly observed in PD patients. Beta oscillations (12-30 Hz), the electrophysiological signature of PD, are restricted to the dorsolateral part of the STN that corresponds to the anatomically defined sensorimotor STN. The more medial, more anterior and more ventral parts of the STN are thought to correspond to the anatomically defined limbic and associative territories of the STN. Surprisingly, little is known about the electrophysiological properties of the non-motor domains of the STN, nor about electrophysiological differences between right and left STNs. In this study, microelectrodes were utilized to record the STN spontaneous spiking activity and responses to vocal non-verbal emotional stimuli during deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgeries in human PD patients. The oscillation properties of the STN neurons were used to map the dorsal oscillatory and the ventral non-oscillatory regions of the STN. Emotive auditory stimulation evoked activity in the ventral non-oscillatory region of the right STN. These responses were not observed in the left ventral STN or in the dorsal regions of either the right or left STN. Therefore, our results suggest that the ventral non-oscillatory regions are asymmetrically associated with non-motor functions, with the right ventral STN associated with emotional processing. These results suggest that DBS of the right ventral STN may be associated with beneficial or adverse emotional effects observed in PD patients and may relieve mental symptoms in other neurological and psychiatric diseases.Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:69. DOI:10.3389/fnsys.2013.00069
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ABSTRACT: Neuropsychiatric fluctuations in Parkinson's disease (PD) are frequent and disabling. One way to investigate them is to assess the ability to inhibit distractive emotional information by a modified emotional Stroop (ES) task. We compared non-depressed, non-demented PD patients with healthy controls. During an acute levodopa challenge, patients performed a modified ES task during functional MRI and a neuropsychological assessment including Visual Analog Mood (VAMS) and Apathy scales. Ten patients and 12 controls completed the study. The VAMS scores were significantly improved by the acute intake of levodopa (p = 0.02), as was the apathy score (p = 0.03). Negative ES task (i.e. fearful facial expressions with the words "happy" or "fear" written across them), induced a lengthening of the mean reaction time during the incongruent trials compared with the congruent trials in controls (relative difference = 2.7%, p < 0.001) and in ON patients (relative difference = 5.9%, p < 0.001), but not in OFF patients (relative difference = 1.7%, p = 0.28). Controls and ON patients displayed greater activation than OFF patients within the right pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pACC), an area specifically involved in emotional conflict resolution (p < 0.001 and p < 0.008 respectively, k > 5 uncorrected). No difference in the activation of the pACC was found between controls and ON patients, suggesting a normalization of the activation following levodopa administration. These results suggest that emotional conflict processes could be dopamine-dependent. Pregenual ACC hypoactivation could be directly due to the degeneration of dopaminergic mesocorticolimbic pathway. Our results propose that neuropsychiatric fluctuations in PD patients could be partially explained by pACC hypoactivation and that adjustments of dopaminergic medication might be helpful for their treatment.Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 07/2014; 6:164. DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2014.00164 · 2.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Deep-brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is an established treatment for motor complications in Parkinson's disease. 20 years of experience with this procedure have contributed to improved understanding of the role of the STN in motor, cognitive, and emotional control. In Parkinson's disease, the pathological STN neuronal activity leads to motor, cognitive, and emotional inhibition. Deafferentation of the STN by DBS can reverse such behavioural inhibition. The release of this brake allows both motor and non-motor improvement, but can also be associated with excessive motor, cognitive, and emotional behavioural disinhibition. Conversely, the notable reduction in anti-parkinsonian drug dose allowed by motor improvement can unveil mesolimbic hypodopaminergic behaviours such as apathy, anxiety, or depression. Fine-tuning of stimulation parameters with dopaminergic drugs is necessary to prevent or improve pathological behaviours.The Lancet Neurology 03/2014; 13(3):287-305. DOI:10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70294-1 · 21.82 Impact Factor