The Subthalamic Nucleus: A More Complex Structure than Expected

  • Jean Féger
  • Mireille Mouroux
  • Abdelhamid Benazzouz
  • Thomas Boraud
  • Christian Gross
  • Alan R. Crossman
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 41)


Almost all the papers on the subthalamic nucleus, after the usual review of its anatomical connections, summarize the function of this structure with the classical reference to hemiballism. This type of anatomopathological approach is still widely used in neurobiology, despite the fact that it is a little strange to define subthalamic nucleus functions by reference to its dysfunction. The physiological functions have only recently been freed from the impressive and restrictive clinical description of hemiballism. Currently, facts and hypotheses stress the relationship between hypo- or hyperactivity of the subthalamic neurons and two opposite motor dysfunctions, hyperkinesia as in hemiballism and akinesia as in parkinsonism. Moreover, the importance of subthalamic inputs arising from associative or limbic structures should not be overlooked since they are an integral part of this concept of the function of the subthalamic nucleus and suggest that this structure has broader and more complex involvement in a large range of activities which may or may not have a motor component.


Basal Ganglion Globus Pallidus Subthalamic Nucleus High Frequency Stimulation Internal Segment 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Féger
    • 1
  • Mireille Mouroux
    • 1
  • Abdelhamid Benazzouz
    • 2
  • Thomas Boraud
    • 2
  • Christian Gross
    • 2
  • Alan R. Crossman
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Pharmacologie, Faculté des Sciences Pharmaceutiques BiologiquesUniversité R. DescartesParisFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie, CNRS URA 1200Université de Bordeaux IIFrance
  3. 3.Experimental Neurology and Myology group, Department of Cell and Structural BiologyUniversity of Manchester Medical SchoolManchesterGreat Britain

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