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Neuroscience. 2009 Feb 18;158(4):1201-5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.10.046. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Gait is associated with an increase in tonic firing of the sub-cuneiform nucleus neurons.

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Univ Grenoble I, Grenoble, F-38000 France.


In animals, the pedunculopontine (PPN) and the sub-cuneiform (SCU) nuclei located in the upper brainstem are involved during the processing of gait. Similar functional nuclei are suspected in humans but their role in gait is unclear. Here we show that, using extra-cellular recordings of the PPN/SCU region obtained in two parkinsonian patients, the SCU neurons increased their firing rate without modifying their firing pattern during mimicked steps. We conclude that SCU neurons are activated during gait processes.

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