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Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 May 2024 - 31 May 2024

2024 May 29



Establishing connectivity through microdissections of midbrain stimulation-related neural circuits.


Skandalakis GP, Neudorfer C, Payne CA, Bond E, Tavakkoli AD, Barrios-Martinez J, Trutti AC, Koutsarnakis C, Coenen VA, Komaitis S, Hadjipanayis CG, Stranjalis G, Yeh FC, Banihashemi L, Hong J, Lozano AM, Kogan M, Horn A, Evans LT, Kalyvas A


Comprehensive understanding of the neural circuits involving the ventral tegmental area is essential for elucidating the anatomo-functional mechanisms governing human behaviour as well as the therapeutic and adverse effects of deep brain stimulation for neuropsychiatric diseases. While the ventral tegmental area has been successfully targeted with deep brain stimulation for different neuropsychiatric diseases, the axonal connectivity of the region has not been fully understood. Here using fiber micro-dissections in human cadaveric hemispheres, population-based high-definition fiber tractography, and previously reported deep brain stimulation hotspots, we find that the ventral tegmental area participates in an intricate network involving the serotonergic pontine nuclei, basal ganglia, limbic system, basal forebrain, and prefrontal cortex, which is implicated in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depressive disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, cluster headaches, and aggressive behaviors.