Speaker: Prof Zheng Ye

Title: Improving impulsivity in Parkinson’s disease with atomoxetine

Date: Friday 19 August, 1-2 pm 

Venue: AS4/02-08 (Psychology Department Meeting Room) 


Impulsivity is more than a problem of impulse control disorders (ICDs). ICDs are diagnosed in about 14% of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) but impulsivity exists even in patients without ICD. In this talk, I would like to present our recent studies on a novel noradrenergic therapy for impulsivity in PD, targeting patients’ inability to cancel a wrong action. Response inhibition deficits in PD may result from loss of noradrenergic projections to the forebrain. In Part 1, I will show that selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine (which is approved for the treatment of ADHD) can improve PD patients’ motor inhibition performance via enhancing inferior frontal cortical activations and frontostriatal functional connectivity. However PD patients varied remarkably in their treatment responses. In Part 2, I will show a machine-learning model that can predict beneficial effects of atomoxetine on response inhibition in PD with high accuracy using clinical and neuroimaging measures. This model aimed to identify potential responders from nonresponders to maximize benefits and minimize harms of the target therapy but the principals and approaches we revealed are applicable to other brain disorders and potential therapies. 

About the Speaker:

Dr. Ye completed her PhD at Peking University (China) in 2010 and then worked as post-docs at the University of Lübeck (Germany), University of Cambridge (UK) and Donders Institute (Netherlands). In 2015, she joined the CAS Institute of Psychology as a full professor. Her research interest includes the neurobiology of impulsivity and cognitive inflexibility in Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and other brain disorders. She has published papers in top journals including Brain, Biological Psychiatry, and Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.

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