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Loss of dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons accounts for the motivational and affective deficits in Parkinson's disease.

Abstract : Parkinson's disease (PD) involves the degeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) that is thought to cause the classical motor symptoms of this disease. However, motivational and affective impairments are also often observed in PD patients. These are usually attributed to a psychological reaction to the general motor impairment and to a loss of some of the neurons within the ventral tegmental area (VTA). We induced selective lesions of the VTA and SNc DA neurons that did not provoke motor deficits, and showed that bilateral dopamine loss within the SNc, but not within the VTA, induces motivational deficits and affective impairments that mimicked the symptoms of PD patients. Thus, motivational and affective deficits are a core impairment of PD, as they stem from the loss of the major group of neurons that degenerates in this disease (DA SNc neurons) and are independent of motor deficits.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 12 February 2013; doi:10.1038/mp.2013.3.
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Guillaume Drui, Sébastien Carnicella, Carole Carcenac, Matthieu Favier, Anne Bertrand, et al.. Loss of dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons accounts for the motivational and affective deficits in Parkinson's disease.. Molecular Psychiatry, Nature Publishing Group, 2014, 19 (3), pp.358-67. ⟨10.1038/mp.2013.3⟩. ⟨inserm-00857885⟩

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