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Galvanic vestibular stimulation as a treatment for neurological disorders

Year:
2020
Duration:
42 months
Approved budget:
$1,188,357.10
Researchers:
Professor Paul Smith
,
Post Doctoral Fellow
,
Associate Professor Yiwen Zheng
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Project
Lay summary
Galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) is a method of non-invasive electrical stimulation of the peripheral vestibular system (the balance system in the inner ear) that is used to test vestibular reflexes. A variant of this, known as ‘noisy GVS’ (nGVS), has been reported to be useful in the treatment of various neurological and psychiatric diseases. However, how nGVS acts on the brain is unknown. The aim of this project is to systematically investigate the effects of nGVS in animals and identify the underlying mechanisms. Since recent studies have suggested that nGVS may be useful in the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD), this project will focus on its effects on a part of the brain that malfunctions in this disease (the striatum). The results of the study will provide a clearer understanding of how nGVS could be harnessed for the treatment of PD and other neurological disorders.