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Characterization of the dynamics and functional connectivity between the striatum and the hippocampus in a spatial/procedural memory task in an animal model of Parkinson's Disease

Grant number: 11/20002-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): February 28, 2014
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira
Grantee:Andre Luis Takatsu Coleman
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Despite of the classical motor symptoms, Parkinson's patients can exhibit cognitive deficits. Some authors have been suggesting that the basal ganglia could also play a non-motor function and this role could be related to a non-spatial learning and related to a memory processes. However, other authors have been indicating that memory can be dissociated in striatum-dependent and / or hippocampal-dependent based on the type of task and these systems could be operated independently or even competitively. On the other hand, other authors have been assuming that hippocampal memory deficits could be due to the damage of the dorsal striatum, suggesting that this area could be part of the hippocampus / limbic pathway. This research project has a general goal to investigate the interactions between the CA1 hippocampus and dorsal striatum on the cognitive processes in an animal model of Parkinson's disease. Specifically, the aim of this study is to analyze the dynamics and functional connectivity in those regions in a memory task (procedural/spatial) in an animal model of Parkinson's disease (MPTP model). For that, we will use the Morris water maze, in a dry version to assess memory. Simultaneously with this behavioral test, it will be recording the extracellular activity using implantation of electrodes array into the above mentioned areas in order to analyze the neuronal firing (tens and / or hundreds) with the animal under a free-running in order to enable a better understanding of the functional dynamics of a set of neurons and to figure out the flow of information in terms of time and behavior. (AU)

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