Electrical stimulation of the fornix for the treatment of brain diseases

Sarah Hescham, Yasin Temel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has proven to be safe and effective for both hypo- and hyperkinetic movement disorders of basal ganglia origin, while its application to other neural pathways such as the circuit of Papez is under investigation. In particular, the fornix has gained interest as potential DBS target to decrease rates of cognitive decline, enhance memory, aid visuospatial memorization, and improve verbal recollection. While the exact mechanisms of action of fornix DBS are not completely understood, studies found enhanced hippocampal acetylcholine release, synaptic plasticity, and decreased inflammatory responses in cortex and hippocampus. Nevertheless, it is still premature to conclude that fornix DBS can be used in the treatment of cognitive disorders, and the field needs sound, preclinically tested, and disease-specific a posteriori hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-454
Number of pages8
JournalHandbook of Clinical Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Brain Diseases
  • Deep Brain Stimulation
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Fornix, Brain
  • Hippocampus
  • Humans

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