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Neuroscience. 2011 Dec 15;198:193-204. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.09.059. Epub 2011 Oct 1.

Six questions on the subthalamic nucleus: lessons from animal models and from stimulated patients.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Neurobiologie de la Cognition-LNC, UMR6155 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-CNRS, 3 Place Victor Hugo, F-13000 Marseille, France. christelle.baunez@univ-provence.fr

Abstract

Since the early 90s, the subthalamic nucleus (STN) has started to be the subject of an increasing interest not only in the community of the basal ganglia scientists but also for neurosurgeons and neurologists, thanks to the development of the surgical treatment for Parkinson's disease. The involvement of the STN in cognitive and motivational processes has been demonstrated since, and psychiatrists are now considering this small structure as a possible target for the treatment of various disorders. In this review, we will address six questions to highlight (1) How increased knowledge has led us from a strictly motor model to an integrative one. (2) How knowledge acquired in animal models can be similar or (3) different from the effects observed in human patients. (4) How clinical trials are sometimes ahead of fundamental research carried out in animals, showing effects that could not be predicted on the basis of animal studies, thus questioning the relevance of some animal models, especially for psychiatric disorders. We will also address the possible future orientations (5) and how the use, or precaution not to use, certain key words in animal research dedicated to STN functions can lead to the omission of a certain amount of available data in the literature (6).

Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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