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The thalamic regulation of striatal function in normal and Parkinsonian states
Other Talks in the Series: Parkinson's Disease
Anatomical organization of the basal ganglia
- Prof. Andre Parent
- Université Laval Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Promising medical therapies for Parkinson’s disease
- Prof. Robert A. Hauser
- University of South Florida, USA
Deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease
- Prof. Michael S. Okun
- University of Florida, USA
-Hello. My name is Dr. Yoland Smith. I'm a neuroscientist at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center and at the Department of Neurology of Emory University. For the past 30 years, my main research interest had being devoted to the understanding of the anatomical and functional organization of the basal ganglia in normal and diseased conditions, particularly in relation to Parkinson's disease. In this presentation, I will give an overview of our current knowledge of the thalamic regulation of striatal function in normal and Parkinsonian states.
Our current view of the relationships between the thalamus and the basal ganglia are shown on this slide, which illustrates simplified schematics of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical connections taken from a textbook commonly used in neuroscience education. As you can see from this diagram, the thalamus and the basal ganglia nuclei are part of functional loops through which the information flows from the cerebral cortex to the striatum, which in primates comprise the caudate nucleus in the putamen, and then to globus pallidus and the substantia nigra pars reticulata, which, in turn, send gabaergic projection to the thalamus. The thalamus then transmits this information the cerebral cortex and so on.
This arrow diagram shows the same basal ganglia-thalamocortical loop in a highly schematic fashion. However, my talk today will not be focused on this system, but will rather discuss the organization of another projection system that bypasses the cerebral cortex and links directly the thalamus with the striatum-- the so-called thalamostriatal system. Although this network has long been known, our limited understanding of its basic anatomical, physiological, and pathophysiological organization has significantly hampered advances in knowledge about the role of this system in the functional circuitry of the basal ganglia in normal and diseased states.