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Interactions Between the Basal Ganglia and the Cerebellum and Role in Neurological Disorders

  • Christopher H. Chen
  • Diany Paola CalderonEmail author
  • Kamran Khodakhah
Chapter
Part of the Innovations in Cognitive Neuroscience book series (Innovations Cogn.Neuroscience)

Abstract

The cerebellum and the basal ganglia are critically important for motor control, and their cooperation is crucial to generate the motor signals necessary for proper motor execution and coordination. For decades, direct and functionally relevant communication between these structures was thought to be unlikely due to the lack of corroborating anatomical or functional data. More recent novel methodologies have uncovered the presence of a pathway connecting the output of the basal ganglia to the cerebellum and a disynaptic connection from the cerebellum to the input of the basal ganglia via the thalamus in both rodents and primates. In particular, the disynaptic connection allows for a rapid communication between the cerebellum and the basal ganglia and is capable of modulating synaptic plasticity between the basal ganglia and the motor cortex. These mechanistic insights have helped determine how aberrant activity in the cerebellum can dynamically affect the basal ganglia. Cerebellar-induced dystonia is a clear example in which erratic cerebellar burst firing significantly alters normal basal ganglia activity causing dystonia. Further understanding of this impaired interaction will promote the development of novel therapeutic approaches to target defective networks in multiple pathologies.

Keywords

Basal ganglia Cerebellum Dystonia Parkinson’s disease 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher H. Chen
    • 1
  • Diany Paola Calderon
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kamran Khodakhah
    • 1
  1. 1.Dominick P. Purpura Department of NeuroscienceAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory for Neurobiology and BehaviorThe Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA

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