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Neuropharmacology and Functional Anatomy of the Basal Ganglia: Experimental Models for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Mario Herrera-Marschitz
  • Urban Ungerstedt
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 38A)

Abstract

The term Basal Ganglia refers to large subcortical nuclear masses considered to be derivatives of the forebrain. Significant progress in the understanding of the morphology and functional organization of the basal ganglia followed the demonstration and mapping of central monoamine neuron systems. Dopamine is an essential neurotransmitter in the basal ganglia. Indeed, the neostriatum is richly innervated by dopaminergic fibres originating in the pars compacta of the substantia nigra (Ungerstedt 1971, Lindvall & Björklund 1974), and this pathway constitutes a pivotal axis in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. A deficit in dopamine transmission is the most constant abnormality found in Parkinson’s disease (Hornykiewicz 1963). Classically the most conspicuous symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include akinesia and bradykinesia, rigidity and postural abnormalities, which can lead to skeletal deformities. Indeed, we have recently reported that discret lesions of the basal ganglia produce deformities of the spinal cord and scoliosis in rats (Herrera-Marschitz et al. 1990d). These skeletal deformities are in turn the causes of further impairments of motor behaviour. Thus, brain and peripheral systems interact when producing motor behaviour, in such a manner that causes and effects are reciprocally influenced.

Keywords

Nerve Growth Factor Striatal Dopamine Nucleus Basalis Senile Dementia Striatal Dopamine Release 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Herrera-Marschitz
    • 1
  • Urban Ungerstedt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyKarolinska institutetStockholmSweden

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