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Neuroreport. 2013 Jan 9;24(1):30-5. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e32835c16e7.

Deep brain stimulation of the bilateral nucleus accumbens in normal rhesus monkey.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Tangdu Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China.


The nucleus accumbens (NAc) has been considered as a novel target of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for intractable psychiatric disorders. Quite a few questions exist about this new treatment, and might be explored in nonhuman primate models. There are several reports on DBS of brain nucleus other than NAc in nonhuman primates. Therefore, we stereotactically implanted the electrodes into bilateral NAc under the guidance of MRI using a clinical Leksell stereotactic system in normal rhesus monkeys. NAc could be recognized as the area of continuity between the caudate nucleus and putamen in the coronal sections, which is beneath the internal capsule, and the gray matter nucleus between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior commissure in axial sections, which is medial to the putamen. NAc is mainly at a point 2.0-3.0 mm inferior, 3.0-4.0 mm anterior, and 4.5-5.5 mm lateral to the anterior commissure. The electrodes were implanted accurately and connected to an implantable pulse generator subcutaneously. After recovery from surgery, stimulation with a variety of parameters was trialed, and continuous stimulation at 90 μs, 3.5 V, 160, or 60 Hz was administered individually for 7 days. The behaviors and spontaneous locomotor activity of the animals did not change significantly during stimulation. This is the first report on DBS of NAc in nonhuman primates to the best of our knowledge. Bilateral electrical stimulation of NAc is a safe treatment. This model could be helpful in further studies on the clinical use of NAc stimulation for psychiatric disorders and for a better understanding of the functions of this nucleus.

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