Basal ganglia

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

The basal ganglia are a group of nuclei in the brain that is interconnected with the cerebral cortex, thalami and brainstem.

In a strict anatomical sense it contains three paired nuclei:

Functionally, two additional nuclei are also part of the basal ganglia:

Basal ganglia are normally isodense/isointense with cortex. Because the globus pallidus has more myelin content compared with the putamen it usually appears slightly more hypointense on T2WI, GRE, and SWI images. Age-related calcium deposition in GP initially results in increased T1WI signal intensity and subsequently, when calcification exceeds 40%, signal loss in all sequences. Ageing with consequent iron deposition in the putamen results in a gradual decrease of T2WI signal intensity in the putamen. This is more pronounced in patients in their 70s or 80s.

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Article Information

rID: 5822
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and Figures

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    Figure 1: basal ganglia
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    Figure 2: brainstem nuclei and their connections
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    Figure 3: Organisational structure of basal ganglia
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