Project details


Deep brain stimulation of the nucleus basalis of Meynert to improve cognitive functioning: a systematic review of animal studies

cognitive function Deep brain stimulation (DBS) Animal research

prof. dr. T. van Laar
drs. M. Nazmuddin

Nature of the research:
A systematic review of literatures on animal studies which investigated the effect of deep brain stimulation of the nucleus basalis of Meynert on cognitive functioning

Fields of study:

Background / introduction
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of one of the cholinergic-rich structures in the basal forebrain, namely the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM), has emerged as an alternative therapy for both Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD). Extensive studies showed the progressive depletion of the NBM neurons during the course of these diseases which highly associates to the continuous worsening of cognitive symptoms. Electrical current delivered by DBS to the NBM is expected to enhance the activity of the remaining cholinergic neurons arose from this nucleus and improve cognitive functioning. However, series of clinical studies performing DBS of the NBM in AD and PDD patients showed hardly any benefits on cognitive performance.
In this project, we will conduct a systematic review of animal studies to create a comprehensive overview regarding electrical stimulation of the NBM and its effect on cognition. This effort may eventually provide recommendations for future preclinical and clinical studies in this field.
Research question / problem definition
What is the effect of electrically stimulating the nucleus basalis of Meynert on cognitive functioning in animal studies?
A systematic review consists of several sequential steps to systematically locate, appraise and synthesizing evidence from scientific animal studies. These steps include a systematic search for original research articles in two databases (Medline and Embase), selecting relevant studies, extracting research characteristics, assessing study quality and finally data analyses which may involve meta-analysis if included studies have sufficiently similar characteristics.
[1] J. Gratwicke, J. Kahan, L. Zrinzo, M. Hariz, P. Limousin, T. Foltynie, M. Jahanshahi, The nucleus basalis of Meynert: A new target for deep brain stimulation in dementia?, Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 37 (2013) 2676–2688. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.09.003.
[2] K. Hardenacke, E. Shubina, C.P. Buhrle, A. Zapf, D. Lenartz, J. Klosterkotter, V. Visser-Vandewalle, J. Kuhn, Deep brain stimulation as a tool for improving cognitive functioning in Alzheimer’s dementia: a systematic review., Front. Psychiatry. 4 (2013) 159. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00159.
[3] J. Kuhn, K. Hardenacke, E. Shubina, D. Lenartz, V. Visser-Vandewalle, K. Zilles, V. Sturm, H.-J. Freund, Deep Brain Stimulation of the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert in Early Stage of Alzheimer’s Dementia., Brain Stimul. 8 (2015) 838–839. doi:10.1016/j.brs.2015.04.002.
[4] J. Gratwicke, L. Zrinzo, J. Kahan, A. Peters, M. Beigi, H. Akram, J. Hyam, A. Oswal, B. Day, L. Mancini, J. Thornton, T. Yousry, P. Limousin, M. Hariz, M. Jahanshahi, T. Foltynie, Bilateral Deep Brain Stimulation of the Nucleus Basalis of Meynert for Parkinson Disease Dementia, JAMA Neurol. (2017). doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.3762.
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