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Papers of the Week

Papers: 23 Mar 2019 - 29 Mar 2019

Animal Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2019 Jul 15

Brain Res


Effects of subthalamic deep brain stimulation with gabapentin and morphine on mechanical and thermal thresholds in 6-hydroxydopamine lesioned rats.


Kaszuba BC, Maietta T, Walling I, Feustel P, Stapleton A, Shin DS, Slyer J, Pilitsis JG
Brain Res. 2019 Jul 15; 1715:66-72.
PMID: 30898672.


Chronic pain is the most common non-motor symptom among Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, with 1.85 million estimated to be in debilitating pain by 2030. Subthalamic deep brain stimulation (STN DBS) programmed for treating PD motor symptoms has also shown to significantly improve pain scores. However, even though most patient's pain symptoms improve or disappear, 74% of patients treated develop new pain symptoms within 8 years. Previously we have shown that duloxetine and STN high frequency stimulation (HFS) significantly increase mechanical thresholds more than either alone. The current project specifically investigates the effects of gabapentin and morphine alone and with high (150 Hz; HFS) and low (50 Hz; LFS) frequency stimulation in the 6-hydroxydopamine rat model for PD., We found that HFS, LFS, gabapentin 15 mg/kg and morphine 1mg/kg all independently improve Von Frey (VF) thresholds. Neither drug augments the HFS response significantly. Morphine at 1mg/kg showed a trend to increasing thresholds compared to LFS alone (p=0.062). Interestingly, gabapentin significantly reduced (p=0.019) the improved VF thresholds and Randall Selitto thresholds seen with LFS. Thus, though neither drug augments DBS, we found effects of both compounds independently increase VF thresholds, informing use of our model of chronic pain in PD. Gabapentin's reversal of LFS effects warrants further exploration.