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Basal ganglia

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Physiology 3120
Tom Stavraky

Human Physiology Wednesday, November 18, 2009 “Neuro XII” Basal Ganglia • function of supplementary motor cortex (SMA) first deduced using PET screens; measured blood flow, which is indicative of metabolic activity in neurons  metabolic activity mostly due to EPSPs and IPSPs, not APs  simple finger flexion  increased blood flow in somatosensory & motor cortex  sequential finger flexions  increased blood flow in somatosensory & motor cortex, and supplementary motor cortex  think about sequential finger flexions  increased blood flow in supplementary motor area ONLY  conclusion: supplementary motor area programs motor cortex when performing complex, sequential movements • basal ganglia  composed of several different nuclei  4 different loops; separate pathways through basal ganglia that end up back in the cortex 1. motor • classically associated with motor functions • but there are other loops that are not motor areas 2. oculomotor 3. limbic 4. cognitive (prefrontal)  two inputs to the caudate/putamen 1. from the cerebral cortex 2. from the substantia nigra pars compacta  the major neurotransmitters in the caudate/putamen are dopamine (excitatory or inhibitory), ACh (for interneurons in the neostriatum), and glutamate  there are direct & indirect pathways from the neostriatum to the internal globus pallidus  GABA is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter  one major output is from the internal globus pallidus to the thalamus • diseases of the basal ganglia  Parkinson’s disease  loss of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra pars compacta; can have a lot of degeneration before symptoms appear; progressive degeneration over lifespan  symptoms • rigidity at joints (not spasticity); happens in flexors & extensors • resting tremor (not intention tremor); usually prominent in fingers (i.e. “pill- rolling”) • akinesia (poverty of movement)
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