Huntington’s disease, OCD, Parkinson’s disease

Optogenetic dissection of the striatal subcircuits during action sequence learning
2013 Seed Grant
Xin Jin, Ph.D.
Department of Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Many neurological and psychiatric disorders including Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and obsessive-compulsive disorder are related to the basal ganglia dysfunction. The basal ganglia circuits consist of two major subcircuits, called direct and indirect pathways. Traditionally, it was thought that these two pathways work antagonically to facilitate and inhibit actions respectively, and imbalance of them would lead to basal ganglia dysfunction and action disorders. Dr. Jin’s project aims to study the physiology and function of these two pathways in vivo, and validate the classic basal ganglia functional model within a complex behavior context. The findings from this project will not only reveal the fundamental organization of action in the basal ganglia circuits, but also provide important insights into the pathology of many basal ganglia related action disorders.

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