Identifying the basal ganglia network model markers for medication-induced impulsivity in Parkinson's disease patients

Pragathi Priyadharsini Balasubramani, V. Srinivasa Chakravarthy, Manal Ali, Balaraman Ravindran, Ahmed A. Moustafa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Impulsivity, i.e. irresistibility in the execution of actions, may be prominent in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients who are treated with dopamine precursors or dopamine receptor agonists. In this study, we combine clinical investigations with computational modeling to explore whether impulsivity in PD patients on medication may arise as a result of abnormalities in risk, reward and punishment learning. In order to empirically assess learning outcomes involving risk, reward and punishment, four subject groups were examined: healthy controls, ON medication PD patients with impulse control disorder (PD-ON ICD) or without ICD (PD-ON non- ICD), and OFF medication PD patients (PD-OFF). A neural network model of the Basal Ganglia (BG) that has the capacity to predict the dysfunction of both the dopaminergic (DA) and the serotonergic (5HT) neuromodulator systems was developed and used to facilitate the interpretation of experimental results. In the model, the BG action selection dynamics were mimicked using a utility function based decision making framework, with DA controlling reward prediction and 5HT controlling punishment and risk predictions. The striatal model included three pools of Medium Spiny Neurons (MSNs), with D1 receptor (R) alone, D2R alone and co-expressing D1R-D2R. Empirical studies showed that reward optimality was increased in PD-ON ICD patients while punishment optimality was increased in PD-OFF patients. Empirical studies also revealed that PD-ON ICD subjects had lower reaction times (RT) compared to that of the PD-ON non-ICD patients. Computational modeling suggested that PD-OFF patients have higher punishment sensitivity, while healthy controls showed comparatively higher risk sensitivity. A significant decrease in sensitivity to punishment and risk was crucial for explaining behavioral changes observed in PD-ON ICD patients. Our results highlight the power of computational modelling for identifying neuronal circuitry implicated in learning, and its impairment in PD. The results presented here not only show that computational modelling can be used as a valuable tool for understanding and interpreting clinical data, but they also show that computational modeling has the potential to become an invaluable tool to predict the onset of behavioral changes during disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0127542
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

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