Dissecting Brainstem Locomotor Circuits: Converging Evidence for Cuneiform Nucleus Stimulation

Stephano J. Chang, Iahn Cajigas, Ioan Opris, James D. Guest, Brian R. Noga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


There are a pressing and unmet need for effective therapies for freezing of gait (FOG) and other neurological gait disorders. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of a midbrain target known as the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN) was proposed as a potential treatment based on its postulated involvement in locomotor control as part of the mesencephalic locomotor region (MLR). However, DBS trials fell short of expectations, leading many clinicians to abandon this strategy. Here, we discuss the potential reasons for this failure and review recent clinical data along with preclinical optogenetics evidence to argue that another nearby nucleus, the cuneiform nucleus (CnF), may be a superior target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number64
JournalFrontiers in Systems Neuroscience
StatePublished - Aug 21 2020


  • cuneiform nucleus
  • deep brain stimulation
  • gait dysfunction
  • mesencephalic locomotor region
  • pedunculopontine nucleus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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