Neuronal circuits underlying prodromal gait disturbances of Parkinson’s disease
In this project we will identify dysfunctional neuronal circuits contributing to gait abnormalities in Parkinson´s disease (PD) patients. Genetic mouse models of PD will be used exhibiting disturbed gait reminiscent to PD patients. We will interrogate affected neuronal circuits in the spinal cord and brain stem by trans-synaptic tracing of specific motor pools combined with electromyographical recordings, by a pharmacological approach directed towards the rescue of the phenotype, and by using DREADD technology to manipulate the activity of defined neuronal components. These results might form the basis for developing better therapies to treat the disabling gait disturbances in PD patients.