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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Basal Ganglia Disorders
      Category : Health Centers > Brain and Nervous System

Basal Ganglia Disorders

Alternate Names : Disorders Affecting the Basal Ganglia

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

The basal ganglia are groups of structures within the brain that help with movement. Any condition that affects the function of these structures is a basal ganglia disorder.

What is going on in the body?

The basal ganglia are groups of small structures inside the brain. One of the main jobs of these structures is to help with movement. For instance, this part of the brain helps a person start to move. It also affects how fast the person can perform the movement. The basal ganglia are also thought to play a role in thinking and emotions.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Many disorders can affect this part of the brain, including:

  • cerebral palsy, a type of brain damage in young children. This is often present at birth and can cause many different movement problems or learning difficulties.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, thought to be related to mad cow disease. This can be genetic or due to exposure to contaminated materials. This condition usually gets worse quickly and may cause any of the signs and symptoms of basal ganglia disorders.
  • Huntington disease or chorea, a genetic condition that also slowly gets worse. It commonly causes chorea and athetosis. Personality, emotional, and thinking changes are also common.
  • kernicterus, a condition that may occur in newborns as a rare complication of jaundice, or yellow eyes and skin
  • medicines, especially those used to treat psychosis. Examples include haloperidol and risperidone.
  • Parkinsonism or Parkinson disease, a condition that tends to slowly get worse and often has no known cause. Affected people commonly develop a tremor at rest, trouble starting and continuing movements, a blank expression on the face, thinking changes, and an abnormal gait.
  • stroke, which is brain damage that is caused by a lack of oxygen in the brain. It is often due to clogging of the arteries, called atherosclerosis. The specific effects of a stroke depend on the part of the brain that is affected.
  • Sydenham chorea, a type of chorea that usually occurs in children with rheumatic fever. This is a rare complication of a group A streptococcus infection.
  • Wilson disease, an inherited condition that causes movement and liver problems. It also often causes personality and emotional changes.
  • Other disorders can also affect this part of the brain. Sometimes the cause cannot be found.


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    Basal Ganglia Disorders: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Donna Williams, RN, MSN, CRRN
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 10/01/01

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