A new map of the basal ganglia provides a blueprint of the structure of the brain region and reveals a new level of influence connected to this area.
Researchers hypothesize vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency may play a significant role in dementia associated with alcohol use disorder. It is known iron deposits in the brain contribute to neurodegenerative diseases. Those with AUD have elevated levels of both iron in their blood and thiamine deficiency. Thiamine is vital for maintaining the blood-brain barrier. Thiamine deficiency associated with AUD disrupts the integrity of the BBB, allowing for more iron deposits within the brain and leading to oxidative tissue damage.
A group of neurons located in the basal ganglia appears to play a vital role in cognitive flexibility.
··6 min read
Combining neuroimaging data with artificial intelligence, researchers have identified two distinct neuroanatomical subtypes of schizophrenia. The first, more typical subtype is associated with a lower widespread volume of gray matter compared to healthy controls. In the second subtype, gray matter volume is largely similar to healthy brains.
New findings about dopaminergic neurons in the striatum could have implications for treating Parkinson's disease and Tourette syndrome.
Iron levels in the basal ganglia steadily increase throughout development and, in two sub-regions, continue to increase into adulthood. Decreased levels of iron in the putamen was correlated with impaired cognitive performance involving reasoning and spatial processing. Findings suggest the brain requires iron for healthy cognitive development.
Different types of reward have unique effects on the basal ganglia nuclei. Food rewards influence the left hemisphere of the brain, while erotic rewards engage the right lateral globus and left caudate. Financial rewards engage the basal ganglia bilaterally.
Researchers have identified a comprehensive circuit mechanism that governs how emotional states can influence movement through connections in the basal ganglia. The mechanism represents a way in which emotional states relate to changes in action control in depression, anxiety, and OCD.
The medial prefrontal cortex persistently encodes value based decision variables.
A pathway linking the basal ganglia to the thalamus enhances sensory discrimination and is used to suppress 'background noise'. The pathway, which is controlled by the prefrontal cortex, selectively suppresses sensory input as it flows to the thalamus.