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Neurosurgery. 2006 Jan;58(1):146-58; discussion 146-58.

The motor thalamus in neurosurgery.

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Division of Neurosurgery, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


The motor thalamus is an important target for the treatment of tremor. It receives afferents from the cerebellum, globus pallidus internus, and substantia nigra and projects mainly to the motor cortex, premotor cortex, and supplementary motor area. Various nomenclatures have been proposed to subdivide the motor thalamus, none of which are universally accepted. Both thalamic lesions and high-frequency stimulation ameliorate tremor in diverse pathological conditions. Modern neurophysiological techniques have allowed the recording of the activity of thalamic neurons in patients with different clinical conditions. This has provided a better understanding of the functions of the motor thalamus in humans. The aim of the present article is to briefly review the major anatomic and physiological aspects of the motor thalamus as well as the electrophysiological findings described in humans undergoing surgical procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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