The Functional Organization of the Primate Pallidum: Targets for Gene Based Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

Jay S. Schneider, Ph.D.
Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College

Dr. Jay S. Schneider (Thomas Jefferson Univeristy, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia) studied parkinsonian monkeys in an attempt to clarify the responses of the brain to insults. When the dopaminergic (DA) system is disrupted, a large increase in another system, that of GABA, is seen, particularly in the globus pallidus (the brain area in which it is thought that dyskinesias occur and in which the DBS leads are placed to try to control these side effects of replacement DA). He designed a gene therapy, injected the animals' GPs with material designed to decrease the amount of GABA produced, and found a lessening of the animals' parkinsonism. Further studies will include attempts to lengthen the two-week benefits thus seen.