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During treatment with deep brain stimulation (DBS), electrical current is delivered into the brain parenchyma through implanted electrodes. Although this technique is routinely used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and dystonia, a growing number of neuropsychiatric applications for DBS are being investigated. Investigators can use animal models of these diseases to study the mechanisms through which DBS exerts its effects, to explore new applications of this therapy, and to identify and characterize alternative stimulation targets. Here, we discuss preclinical DBS research that provides insight into the mechanisms underlying cognitive and psychiatric applications of this technique, emphasizing the predictive validity of animal models and their potential use in translational research.
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