Parkinson’s disease (PD) is estimated to impact nearly 10 million people globally and is estimated to increase in the future. PD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that worsens through continuous cell death of dopaminergic neurons. This cell death can create motor symptoms such as bradykinesia, tremor, and muscular rigidity. Subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation, STN DBS, is a surgical intervention which places stimulating electrodes in the STN greatly improving motor symptoms. However, STN DBS has been reported to possibly influence non-motor symptoms such as anxiety both acutely and long-term, which decreases the quality of life for those with PD. We hypothesize that acute and chronic STN DBS will produce more anxiety-like behavior in a rat model of PD compared to PD rats that are not stimulated. Nineteen rats underwent stereotactic surgery and were bilaterally lesioned in the dorsal striatum with 6-Hydroxydopamine to create PD phenotype and neuropathology. Each rat had a stimulating electrode unilaterally implanted into the STN. All rats were recorded for 10 minutes in the open field behavior paradigm to examine anxiety-like behavior such as rearing, grooming, and time spent in by the walls and in the center, along with measures of locomotion such as total distance traveled and velocity. Statistical analysis of each measure within the initial five minutes and total ten minutes of the open field arena did not reveal any significant differences between groups. Limitations including differences between clinical and animal studies, absence of histological confirmation of lesion and electrode placement, small sample size, lack of appropriate controls, and additional behavior paradigm to measure anxiety-like behavior likely contributed to the current lack of significant results. We concluded that STN DBS does not create more anxiety-like behavior in acutely or chronically stimulated rat models of PD compared to PD rats that were not stimulated.


Suelen Lucio Boschen De Souza

Committee Member

Jeffrey Buchanan

Committee Member

Adam Steiner

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)

Program of Study

Clinical Psychology




Social and Behavioral Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.



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