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Engineering  |  FURI

Stephen Lane

Hometown: Marietta, Georgia | Graduation Date: Spring 2019
Biomedical Engineering

Vagus Nerve Stimulation To Treat Oromotor Dysfunction in a Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease

Mentor: Jeffrey Kleim
GCSP: Spring 2018

More than 10 million people worldwide live with Parkinson’s disease (PD), which is caused by a lack of dopaminergic cells. While limb motor function is most commonly associated with PD, most patients also suffer from debilitating oral motor dysfunction, including difficulty chewing and swallowing. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) is a method of stimulating the vagus nerve and is FDA approved to treat epilepsy and depression. This study focuses on oromotor function while inducing neural plasticity on a rat model of PD via administering VNS. The model in use is a unilateral 6-OHDA injection to the nigrostriatal pathway.