Medical Definition of Ganglia, basal

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Ganglia, basal: A region located at the base of the brain composed of 4 clusters of neurons, or nerve cells. This area of the brain is responsible for body movement and coordination.

The groups of neurons most prominently and consistently affected in Huntington disease -- the pallidum and striatum -- are located in the basal ganglia.

(The pallidum is composed of structures called the globus pallidus and the ventral pallidum while the striatum consists of the caudate nucleus, putamen, and ventral striatum.)

The term "basal ganglia" refers to the location of these collections of neurons (ganglia) deep within the brain, seemingly at its very base.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

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