Dr. Liana Melo-Thomas

"Deep brain stimulation of the inferior colliculus: A animal model to study paradoxical kinesia"

Dr. Liana Melo-Thomas is currently working as postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarting at the University of Marburg in Germany.

Liana about her reseach

"Paradoxical kinesia refers to a sudden transient ability of akinetic patients to perform motor tasks they are otherwise unable to perform. The mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are unknown due a paucity of valid animal models that faithfully reproduce paradoxical kinesia. After developing two animal models that reproduce paradoxical kinesia in rats I am investigating the possible mechanisms underlying this interesting phenomenon. Since auditory stimulation can be an important trigger to induce paradoxical kinesia, I focused on the inferior colliculus since it not only serves as an acoustic relay station, but can also modulate haloperidol-induced akinesia. We have shown for the first time that paradoxical kinesia can be induced by aversive deep brain stimulation of the inferior colliculus.

In addition, the natural appetitive 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) can also induce paradoxical kinesia in cataleptic rats which had received systemic haloperidol. I will show evidences that external auditory stimulation can activate motor circuits via the inferior colliculus even when striatal dopaminergic transmission is impaired during neuroleptic-induced catalepsy, and that this mechanism can be prevented by NMDA administration into this structure. Our approach to studying paradoxical kinesia might be useful for uncovering the mechanisms behind this phenomenon and improving behavioural therapies for Parkinson’s disease."

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