The Human Brain : From Neurone to Nervous System

BASAL GANGLIA : PARKINSON'S DISEASE


  1. The tremor of Parkinson's Disease is characterized by involuntary, rhythmic and alternating movements of one or more body parts. Typically, Parkinsonian tremor occurs at rest and is suppressed during voluntary movement, and is rhythmical, with a frequency of 4–10 Hz.

  2. The basal ganglia are responsible for the planning, initiation, sequencing and smooth coordination of muscular activity. Normal movement involves changes in posture, maintenance of balance, and mechanisms that place the limbs and fingers precisely where they are needed. In some of the above disorders, postural elements may be present.

  3. The basal ganglia project heavily to the pre-motor and supplementary motor areas of the cerebral cortex. Lesions of these cortical areas lead to a lack of motivation and difficulty in initiating movements. Some features of disorders of the basal ganglia may also be mediated by reticulo-spinal pathways.

  4. Treatments include drugs such as dopamine agonists, as well as deep brain stimulation of the globus pallidus, subthalamic nucleus or thalamus.

The Basal Ganglia: Corpus Striatum, Globus Pallidus, Substantia Nigra, Subthalamic Nucleus

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