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Hello, my name is Thomas Wichmann.
I'm in the Department of Neurology at Emory University in Atlanta.
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.
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 functional modules.
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'.
Functional abnormalities within this circuit are thought to underlie the motor problems in Parkinson's disease.
The striatum, consisting of putamen and caudate nucleus and the external palatal segments (GPe in this slide),
the subthalamic nucleus (STN), the internal segment of the globus pallidus (GPi) and the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr),
and the pars compacta of the substantia nigra (SNc), are the core basal ganglia structures.
The striatum and STN receive cortical input,
while the GPr 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.