June 13, 2005

Neuro Tidbit#1

You asked for it, you got it.

Parkinson's Disease strikes the neurons of the Nigrostriatal pathway, that is, the dopamine-releasing neurons whose cell bodies reside in the Substantia Nigra and synapse in the striatum (also known as the caudate/putamen). You generally have to lose about 90% of those neurons to get any symptoms. Really. The CNS covers its own a$$.

Interestingly enough, Huntington's Disease strikes the reciprocal connections, from the caudate to the SN, and elsewhere.....

Here's a brainstem cross-section of a PD patient and a person who died from something else. Not surprisingly, the substantia nigra is the black band near the bottom-middle.

Posted by caltechgirl at June 13, 2005 10:59 AM

My Father in law has Parkinson's. It sucks.

Posted by: Bou at June 13, 2005 11:21 PM