The role of GABAergic inhibition in processing visually ambiguous input


  • Dr Polytimi Frangou

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Project summary

Parkinson's disease (PD) is typically considered to impact motor functions. However, non-motor symptoms, such as visual hallucinations (VH), increase disease burden. Developing therapies for VH in PD has been challenging, since we do not fully understand what causes VH to occur. In the healthy brain, successfully interpreting what one sees involves a chemical substance called GABA; hence it is possible that pathological processes involving GABA relate to the generation of VH. I will use drugs to enhance processes that involve GABA, while participants view images that are difficult to interpret. Then, I will measure the impact of enhancing GABA on successful image interpretations and on brain activity. I will also use brain imaging to measure GABA processes during VH in PD and to identify connections between brain regions that relate to these GABA processes and VH. My work will provide putative targets for therapeutic interventions to alleviate VH in PD.