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Peter J. Magill"Cannot move to the rhythm ? Inappropriate neuronal synchrony and oscillations in Parkinson’s disease "

Abstract :

It is widely held that the cardinal movement difficulties seen in Parkinson's disease arise because of the abnormal firing rates of neurons in the basal ganglia and their partner brain circuits.
Electrophysiological recordings of basal ganglia neurons in vivo have confirmed the predicted firing rate changes (albeit inconsistently), but have also revealed disturbed firing patterns that need further definition at the network level. Indeed, dopamine loss in people with idiopathic Parkinson¹s disease is associated with the emergence of excessively synchronised oscillations within and across basal ganglia nuclei. This lecture will showcase how clinically-relevant animal models of Parkinson¹s disease are being used to give valuable new insights into the cellular and network mechanisms underlying these inappropriate oscillations, as well as their implications for our understanding of basal ganglia circuit operations in health and disease.

Selected publications

Mallet N, Pogosyan A, Sharott A, Csicsvari J, Bolam JP, Brown P, Magill, PJ (2008) Disrupted dopamine transmission and the emergence of exaggerated beta
oscillations in subthalamic nucleus and cerebral cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 28:4795.

Mallet N, Pogosyan A, Marton L, Bolam JP, Brown P, Magill PJ (2008) Parkinsonian beta oscillations in the external globus pallidus and their relationship with subthalamic nucleus activity. Journal of Neuroscience, 28:14245.

Brown MT, Henny P, Bolam JP, Magill PJ (2009) Activity of neurochemically heterogeneous dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra during spontaneous and driven changes in brain state. Journal of Neuroscience 29:2915.

Moran RJ, Mallet N, Litvak V, Dolan RJ, Magill PJ, Friston KJ, Brown P. (2011) Alterations in brain connectivity underlying beta oscillations in Parkinsonism. PLoS Computational Biology 7:e1002124.

Henny P, Brown MT, Northrop A, Faunes M, Ungless MA, Magill PJ, Bolam JP (2012) Structural correlates of heterogeneous in vivo activity of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Nature Neuroscience. In press.

Scientific focus :

Senior Scientist
After graduating in Biochemistry at the University of Bath, Dr. Peter Magill came to the Unit to study for his D.Phil. with Dr. Mark Bevan in the basal ganglia research group. Following the award of his doctorate in 2001, for which he received the British Neuroscience Association's 2001 Postgraduate of the Year Prize, Dr. Magill remained in the Unit to continue with his studies on the physiological and anatomical properties of the basal ganglia with Professor Paul Bolam. In 2002, Dr. Magill was elected to a Fellowship by Examination at Magdalen College, Oxford, and then, in 2005, to a Senior Demyship at the same college. Dr. Magill was appointed to a MRC Senior Scientist position in 2006 and promoted to tenured Programme Leader in 2009. Dr. Magill currently sits on the Council of the International Basal Ganglia Society, the Executive Committee of the British Neuroscience Association and the Research Advisory Panel of the charity Parkinson's UK.

In vivo electrophysiological recording techniques are central in his research strategy to elucidate the principles governing neuronal communication within the basal ganglia and partner neural circuits.

Jérôme Baufreton