Neuronal activity in the globus pallidus of multiple system atrophy patients

Authors

  • Luiz C.M. Pereira MD,

    1. Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Vanessa N. Palter BSc,

    1. Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Anthony E. Lang MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Toronto Western Hospital Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • William D. Hutchison PhD,

    1. Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    3. Toronto Western Hospital Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Andres M. Lozano MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Toronto Western Hospital Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Jonathan O. Dostrovsky PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    2. Toronto Western Hospital Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • Dept. of Physiology, Rm. 3305 Medical Sciences Building, 1 King's College Circle, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON Canada M5S 1A8
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Abstract

The pathophysiological changes in neural activity that characterize multiple system atrophy (MSA) are largely unknown. We recorded the activity of pallidal neurons in 3 patients with clinical and radiological features of MSA who underwent unilateral microelectrode-guided pallidotomy for disabling parkinsonism. Findings in these patients were compared with 4 control patients with a clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD). The position, firing rates, and firing patterns of single neurons in the pallidal complex were analyzed in both MSA and PD patients. The mean spontaneous firing rate of neurons in the internal segment of the globus pallidus internus (GPii) was significantly lower in MSA than in PD patients. There were no significant differences between MSA and PD patients, however, in firing rates of neurons in the external globus pallidus (GPe) or in the external segment of GPi (GPie). In addition, no significant differences in firing pattern were found between MSA and PD patients. In conclusion, this study has shown that firing rates of neurons in GPii but not in GPie and GPe are different in MSA patients compared with that in PD patients, a finding that may reflect the poor clinical results of pallidotomy reported in patients with MSA. © 2004 Movement Disorder Society

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