Research Summary

Investigating the role of nicotinic neuromodulation in levodopa-induced dyskinesias - a multimodal study

The primary focus of my laboratory is to explore the physiology of human motor control and the pathophysiology of movement disorders using multimodal neurophysiological methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), electromyography (EMG), electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and local field potentials (LFP). I will specifically explore changes in motor neuroplasticity and functional connectivity in the motor network, and their clinical/behavioral relevance in patients with movement disorders.

The current project funded by DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance is aimed at determining the role of nicotinic neuromodulation in the pathophysiology of levodopa-induced dyskinesias. Levodopa is the gold-standard drug available to treat Parkinson’s disease. However, over time, most patients develop abnormal involuntary movements called levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LID) as a complication. Animal experiments have proposed nicotine to be a potential drug for LID but its mechanism of action is unclear. Integrating non-invasive brain stimulation and recording methods, I will determine if nicotine can reverse certain abnormalities of brain function that are specific to Parkinsonian patients with LID. The results of this project will help in understanding the role of nicotine in the disease process and in evaluating nicotine as a promising treatment for LID.

 

Open positions:

The lab has openings for project assistants, summer interns and women scientists (WOS-A). Interested candidates may contact Dr.Nivethida with their CV through email.

Candidates for summer internship should apply through Indian Academy of Sciences and indicate your lab choice.

Those interested to pursue PhD or M.Sc Neuroscience should apply formally through the NBRC website.