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Manipulating rewards to treat maladaptive brain disorders: focus on tinnitus

40 months
Approved budget:
Professor John Reynolds
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Tinnitus, chronic pain, depression, obesity and addiction are common neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions that impose significant negative impact on individuals and society and lack effective treatments. These conditions appear to share similar abnormalities in parts of the brain network associated with reward. Brain networks can be modulated in certain conditions such as Parkinson’s disease using deep brain stimulation (DBS), however there are no effective stimulation methods developed for modulating the reward network. Here we propose to develop a novel DBS approach to reverse the abnormalities in the reward network and will test the efficacy of the stimulation in a well-established animal model of tinnitus (ringing in the ears). We will also identify in which part of the brain neurons change their activity following the stimulation by using markers for neuronal activation and by recording the response of the neurons. The project will provide solid pre-clinical results for effective clinical translation.