Subthalamic Nucleus Deep Brain Stimulation for the treatment of Impulse Control Disorders


The lack of control of impulsivity (i.e. Impulse Control Disorders; ICD) can lead to various disorders that encompass drug addiction, pathological gambling, compulsive shopping, binge eating, hypersexuality. In the past years, the role of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in impulsivity has been highlighted. The STN is the current target for the surgical treatment of Parkinson's Disease using Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS). Interestingly, PD is a disease that is often associated with ICD. The aim of the present project is thus to characterise the effects of STN DBS in various forms of ICD in intact rats and assessed in various behavioural tasks measuring impulsive choice, gambling and addiction. The studies carried out in rats will be paralleled by clinical studies characterizing the effects of STN DBS applied in PD patients on ICD, measured in various tasks such as Go/NoGo and the Iowa gambling task. This project, bringing together experts in rat STN, impulsivity and clinical experts of STN DBS in patients, should lead to a better understanding of STN contribution in ICD processes and may also lead to a more refined prescription of STN DBS for the treatment of ICD.


Brain stimulation, Imaging techniques, Animal models, Behavioural, Substance use disorders, Impulse Control Disorders

Call topic

Mental Disorders

Proposed runtime

2011 - 2014

Project team

Christelle Baunez (Coordinator)
France (ANR)
Catharine A Winstanley
Canada (CIHR)
Maria Cruz Rodriguez Oroz
Spain (MICINN)