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Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2007 Dec;13(8):455-65. Epub 2007 Oct 31.

Basal ganglia physiology and pathophysiology: a reappraisal.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA.


Current theories of basal ganglia (BG) function based on suppression of activity in the ventrolateral thalamic-cortical circuits by the globus pallidus internal segment are inconsistent with accumulating evidence, demonstrating the need for reconsideration. Changes in busting, oscillatory and synchronous neuronal activities have been indicted as pathophyisological mechanisms but they are unaccompanied by any mechanistic explanatory theory and rely on the same basic assumptions as previous theories now suspect. These notions and theories are reviewed and an alternative is proposed. The systems oscillators theory presented here proposes that the BG is a network of sets of interconnected closed neural loops functioning as oscillators. Its unique physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms are explored.

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