Impaired habit acquisition and striatal dysfunction in early Parkinson’s disease

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Impaired habit acquisition and striatal dysfunction in early Parkinson’s disease

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2021-07

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Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by the progressive degeneration of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) dopamine (DA) neurons resulting in striatal DA depletion and motor symptoms such as resting tremors, bradykinesia, rigidity, and postural instability. However, motor symptoms do not emerge until a large portion of SNc DA neurons are lost resulting in a premotor or prodromal phase of the disease. During the premotor phase patients may experience non-motor such as cognitive impairments, which adds to the overall disability of the disease. Utilizing a mouse model with progressive SNc degeneration, we investigated if habit acquisition which is governed by the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) was impaired during early PD. Our study indicates a trend for impaired habit acquisition, that was associated with increased intrinsic excitability of DLS indirect spiny projection neurons (iSPN). As SNc degeneration progressed, this iSPN hyperexcitability persisted and qualitatively appeared to be increased in magnitude.

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University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. July 2021. Major: Pharmacology. Advisor: Steven Graves. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 31 pages.

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Bendale, Madhuri. (2021). Impaired habit acquisition and striatal dysfunction in early Parkinson’s disease. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/224524.

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