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Functions of the basal ganglia 

Functions of the basal ganglia
Chapter:
Functions of the basal ganglia
Author(s):

Ivan Donaldson

, C. David Marsden

, Susanne A. Schneider

, and Kailash P. Bhatia

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780192619112.003.0047
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date: 22 October 2020

Most, but not all, movement disorders are due to organic or functional changes in the basal ganglia. Parkinsonism, chorea and ballism, dystonia, and perhaps tics result from basal ganglia dysfunction.

However, there are other categories of movement disorders which arise from disturbances of other parts of the nervous system. Most types of myoclonus, many forms of tremor, asterixis, and the conditions of continuous muscle fibre activity producing the ‘stiff-man syndrome’ and neuromyotonia are not due directly to basal ganglia disorder. Nevertheless, an understanding of the function of the basal ganglia is crucial for the student of movement disorders. Against the background of the previous chapter on the basal ganglia, this chapter will attempt to synthesize concepts of function of these structures.

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