The scope of our research is to understand the control mechanisms of movement. The project is aimed at defining the activity of some deep regions of the brain, the basal ganglia. They play a critical role in the pathogenesis of various movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. Recent studies have indicated that the neural networks of the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loop participate in everyday complex behaviors that require coordination between cognition, motivation and movements. Our research is therefore aimed at understanding the role and way of action of the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loop in normal behavior and in pathological state such as Parkinson’s disease and levodopa-induced dyskinesia.

The research group creates animal models that reproduce the clinical characteristics of early and advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease. Our group is able to record the simultaneous activity of several neurons in the basal ganglia with local field potential, extracellular and intracellular in anesthetized and awake, normal, parkinsonian and dyskinetic rat models.

Key Research Areas:

  • Experimental dopamine-depleted animal models.
  • Mechanisms underlying neuronal network activity in the basal ganglia.
  • The role of oscillations in cortico-basal ganglia-thalamic loop function and dysfunction.
  • The role of homeostatic plasticity on processing of cortical input by the basal ganglia.

Selected publications

For all publications see:

  • Galati S, Song W, Orban G, Luft AR, Kaelin-Lang A. Cortical slow wave activity correlates with striatal synaptic strength in normal but not in Parkinsonian rats. Exp Neurol 2018 301:50-58.
  • Caverzasio S, Amato N, Manconi M, Prosperetti C, Kaelin-Lang A, Hutchison WD, Galati S. Brain plasticity and sleep: Implication for movement disorders. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 2018 86:21-35.
  • Salvadè A, D’Angelo V, Di Giovanni G, Tinkhauser G, Sancesario G, Städler C, Möller JC, Stefani A, Kaelin-Lang A, Galati S. Distinct roles of cortical and pallidal β and γ frequencies in hemiparkinsonian and dyskinetic rats. Exp Neurol 2015 275:199-208.
  • Galati S, Salvadè A, Pace M, Sarasso S, Baracchi F, Bassetti CL, Kaelin-Lang A, Städler C, Stanzione P, Möller JC. Evidence of an association between sleep and levodopa-induced dyskinesia in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease. Neurobiol Aging 2015 36:1577-89.
  • Orban G, Pierucci M, Benigno A, Pessia M, Galati S, Valentino M, Muscat R, Di Giovanni G. High dose of 8-OH-DPAT decreases maximal dentate gyrus activation and facilitates granular cell plasticity in vivo. Exp Brain Res 2013 230:441-51.
  • Prosperetti C, Di Giovanni G, Stefani A, Möller JC, Galati S. Acute nigro-striatal blockade alters cortico-striatal encoding: an in vivo electrophysiological study. Exp Neurol 2013 247: 730-6.