Parkinson’s Disease Anatomy

Parkinson’s Disease Anatomy


Hello and welcome to this video from Soton Brain Hub serving as an introduction to Parkinson’s Disease. This is going to be a quick and easy demonstration of the anatomical structures relevant to Parkinson’s Disease so that when we go on to talk about the function of the structures, in our videos on the Direct and Indirect Pathways, you will be able to visualise what we are talking about. So let’s have a look at these representations of the brain and for this video we are going to use both an anterior view and a lateral view and remove parts of each model piece by piece to reveal the structures that are relevant to Parkinson’s Disease. Let’s make this a bit bigger and remove the cortex Immediately we can see a number of structures here but first of all let’s focus on the Putamen The Putamen helps to regulate movement and is involved in reinforcement and implicit learning. Next we have the Caudate or the Caudate Nucleus and this is innervated by lots of Dopaminergic neurons The Caudate is involved in the integration of spatial information primarily. If we take the Caudate and the Putamen together we get the Striatum. So let’s remove the Putamen and now the Caudate and we can see this blue structure underneath this is the Globus Pallidus. The Globus Pallidus regulates voluntarily movement and is primarily inhibitory in its actions. It has two parts: the Lateral Globus Pallidus and the Medial Globus Pallidus. If we take the Putamen, plus the Lateral and Medial Globus Pallidus we get the Lentiform Nucleus. Next we have the Thalamus and beneath it the Subthalamic Nucleus. The Subthalamic Nucleus is a rather complicated structure but it’s thought that it may have a role in action selection. Damage to the Subthalamic Nucleus causes Hemiballismus which is characterised by violent movements of the arm and leg on one side of the body. All that we have left now is the midbrain but within the midbrain is a very important structure I’m of course talking about the Substantia Nigra. The Substantia Nigra consists of two parts: the Pars Reticulata and the Pars Compacta and it is the degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the Pars Compacta of the Substantia Nigra that characterises Parkinson’s Disease. Now if we take the Caudate and the Putamen, the Globus Pallidus (lateral and medial aspects), the Subthalamic Nucleus (seen here under the Thalamus) and the Substantia Nigra we form a structure known as the Basal Ganglia. So there we have it, a whistle-stop tour through the anatomy relevant to Parkinson’s Disease Thank you very much for watching, and remember to subscribe to Soton Brain Hub for more videos to help explain the mysteries of the brain!


3 thoughts on “Parkinson’s Disease Anatomy

  1. Wow, this has been incredibly useful. The whole video is amazing.

    Can I ask one question, the subthalamic nucleus was mentioned at the end but I don't recall the thalamus. Is the thalamus itself part of the basal ganglia? Thank you so much!

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