My name is Thomas Wichmann.
I'm in the Department of Neurology
at Emory University in Atlanta,
and the talk today will be about
oscillatory neuronal activity
patterns in Parkinson's disease.
Here's the outline of my talk.
I will first make you acquainted
with some basic anatomical facts
and with some of the
methods that are being used
to assess oscillatory brain signals.
We will then look at
oscillatory activity patterns
in Parkinson's disease in
individual brain areas,
followed by a brief examination
of larger network oscillations.
Towards the end of
the talk, I will then
discuss what we know about the
cause of these oscillatory patterns
and how they relate to Parkinsonism.
So before discussing details of
the oscillatory patterning of brain
activity in Parkinson's disease,
I'd like to introduce you
to a few basic facts about the
underlying brain circuitry.
The basal ganglia,
thalamus, and cortex
are thought to form
larger loop structures,
as you can see in this slide.
These loops work as
There are loops that are related
to movement functions, while others
are dealing with the control of
executive functions or emotions.
This diagram shows you the
so-called, motor circuit.
within this circuit
are thought to underlie the motor
problems in Parkinson's disease.
The striatum, consisting of the
putamen and caudate nucleus
and the external palatal
segments, or GPe in this slide,
the subthalamic nucleus, or
STN, the internal segment
of the globus pallidus, or GPi,
and the substantia nigra pars
reticularis, SNr, and the pars
compacta of the substantia nigra,
SNc, are the core basal
The striatum and STN
receive cortical input,
while the GPi and SNr provide
output from the basal ganglia
to the thalamus, which then
projects back to the cortex.
We will not further cover
the internal connectivity
of the basal ganglia
that is shown here,
but it is important that
the SNc, through release
of its neurotransmitter, dopamine,
in the striatum and other circuit
elements, is thought to regulate
the flow of activity from the input
to the output stations
of the basal ganglia.