The nucleus accumbens is an important nucleus in the brain for reward and conditioning. In addiction, however, the nucleus accumbens is coopted to reinforce addictive behavior, creating a destructive influence in many lives. Recent research has shown that electrically stimulating the nucleus accumbens directly by deep brain stimulation (DBS) has potential to treat addiction [1-2]. However, the mechanisms by which DBS modulates nucleus accumbens are not well understood. In this study, we created a computational neuron model of the nucleus accumbens using the programming language, NEURON , to test how DBS affects the neuronal activity patterns. Here we suggest that decoupling the action potentials of axons from those of the cell bodies is a possible mechanism through which DBS might treat addiction.
This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Modeling Deep Brain Stimulation in the Nucleus Accumbens as a Potential Treatment for Addiction.
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