The basal ganglia (or basal nuclei) are a group of nuclei of varied origin in the brains of vertebrates that act as a cohesive functional unit. They are situated at the base of the forebrain and are strongly connected with the cerebral cortex, thalamus, and other brain areas.
Basal ganglia disease refers to a group of physical dysfunctions that occur when the group of nuclei in the brain known as the basal ganglia fail to properly initiate movements.
Conditions that cause injury to the brain can damage the basal ganglia include:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Drug overdose
- Head injury
- Liver disease
- Metabolic problems
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Poisoning with copper, manganese, or other heavy metals
- Side effects of certain medications
Brain disorders associated with basalganglia dysfunction
- Huntington's disease
- Parkinson's disease
- Progressive supranuclear palsy
- Wilson's disease
Damage to the basal ganglia cells may cause problems with one's ability to control speech, movement, and posture. This combination of symptoms is called Parkinsonism. A person with basal ganglia dysfunction may have difficulty starting, stopping, or sustaining movement. Depending on which area is affected, there may also be problems with memory and other thought processes. Generally, symptoms vary and may include:
Tests for basal ganglia dysfunction
- Movement changes, such as involuntary or slowed movements
- Increased muscle tone
- Muscle spasms and muscle rigidity
- Problems finding words
- Uncontrollable, repeated movements, speech, or cries
- Walking difficulty
The doctor will examine you and ask questions about your symptoms and medical history. Blood and imaging tests
may be needed. These may include:
Post diagnoses, the doctor will look for the exact cause of the disorder and start treatment of basal ganglia dysfunction accordingly.
The outlook for a person with basal ganglia dysfunction depends on how well a person does depends on the cause of the dysfunction. Some causes are reversible, while others require lifelong treatment.
When you start experiencing well a person does depends on the cause of the dysfunction. Some causes are reversible, while others require lifelong treatment it’s time to ring your doctor.