We tested the hypothesis that modulation of monoaminergic tone with deep-brain stimulation (DBS) of subthalamic nucleus would reveal a site of reactivity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex that we previously identified by modulating serotonergic and noradrenergic mechanisms by blocking serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake sites. We tested the hypothesis in patients with Parkinson's disease in whom we had measured the changes of blood flow everywhere in the brain associated with the deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus. We determined the emotional reactivity of the patients as the average impact of emotive images rated by the patients off the DBS. We then searched for sites in the brain that had significant correlation of the changes of blood flow with the emotional impact rated by the patients. The results indicate a significant link between the emotional impact when patients are not stimulated and the change of blood flow associated with the DBS. In subjects with a low emotional impact, activity measured as blood flow rose when the electrode was turned on, while in subjects of high impact, the activity at this site in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex declined when the electrode was turned on. We conclude that changes of neurotransmission in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex had an effect on the tissue that depends on changes of monoamine concentration interacting with specific combinations of inhibitory and excitatory monoamine receptors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences