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MDS 2021 | Connectomic DBS: target discovery based on neuronal circuitry

Michael Fox, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, discusses how deep brain stimulation (DBS) data can be used to map out casual networks for specific movement disorder symptoms. A similar approach has been applied using lesion data from stroke patients. Lesions associated with specific clinical effects were mapped out and using the connectome, brain circuits implicated in the development of that symptom could be identified. Similarly, by examining the clinical effects of stimulation at specific sights and mapping them out, connections linked to certain symptoms can be determined. The concept of connectomic DBS is moving away from the idea that specific brain regions should be targeted to treat individual symptoms, towards an approach that targets brain circuits. This interview took place during the 2021 International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders.