Gunduz and collaborators awarded $1.5M grant from the NINDS

Dr. Aysegul Gunduz, assistant professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering along with collaborators Dr. Michael Okun, chair, department of neurology, UF College of Medicine and Dr. Kelly Foote, professor, department of neurosurgery, UF College of Medicine, received a new R01 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

The 5-year $1.5 million grant will allow the group to study the thalamocortical network in patients with Tourette syndrome, and how deep brain stimulation drives brain activity to a healthy symptom-free state.

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a continuous lifelong condition characterized by involuntary motor and vocal tics that is highly prevalent and socially embarrassing. There is no ideal animal model for TS, and standard brain scans in humans generally reveal normal structural architecture. Because of the lack of an ideal animal model and relatively normal neuroanatomy, the collection of electrophysiology from the awake and behaving human subjects with TS, as proposed in the study, will offer new and vital insights into the underlying neuroscience of tic generation and the relationship of tics to the thalamocortical network. Additionally, the study will identify how pathophysiology is modulated by DBS and provide a neuromarker for optimal stimulation. Such a marker can guide DBS programming, and will likely lead to improved clinical care for TS patients receiving DBS.

Congratulations to Dr. Gunduz and her collaborators!