Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
The basal ganglia are groups of structures within the brain that help with movement. Any condition that affects thefunction 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 tohelp with movement. For instance, this part of the brain helps a person start to move. It also affects how fast the person canperform 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:
Other disorders can also affect this part of the brain. Sometimes the cause cannot be found.
Symptoms & Signs
What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?
Symptoms and signs depend on the specific disorder but may include:
Other signs and symptoms are also possible.
Diagnosis & Tests
How is the condition diagnosed?
Diagnosis is usually based on the medical history and physical exam. Figuring out the cause also often requiresfurther tests. These may include blood tests, cranial CT scan, and cranial MRI scan. Other special testing may be needed in some cases.
Prevention & Expectations
What can be done to prevent the condition?
Most cases cannot be prevented. Streptococcal infections are treated with antibiotics to prevent cases due torheumatic fever. Newborns with severe jaundice can be treated to prevent kernicterus. Avoidance of medicines, toxins, orcontaminated material could help prevent some cases, but this is often not possible.
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
Many of these conditions, such as Parkinson and Huntington disease, may lead to death even with treatment. A person will gradually have more and more trouble moving, thinking, and performing self-care. Other causes, such as Sydenham chorea, may go away and have no long-term effects.
What are the risks to others?
These disorders are generally not contagious. Some, such as Huntington and Wilson disease, may be passed on to one’s children. Genetic counseling can be helpful to some couples. The infection that causes rheumatic fever is often contagious. But, those who catch it usually don’t develop a basal ganglia disorder.
Treatment & Monitoring
What are the treatments for the condition?
Medicines are often used to control symptoms. Surgery may be an option for those who do not respond to medicine. If the disorder is caused by a medicine, stopping the medicine may reverse the symptoms. Physical therapy,occupational therapy, and speech therapy may help a person to stay independent longer.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Side effects depend on the treatment used. Medicines may cause allergic reactions, stomach upset, or other side effects. Any surgery carries a risk of bleeding or infections.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
Even if relief of symptoms occurs, the disorder often gets worse. In this case, changes in therapy can be tried. Many times people die from complications such as pneumonia. Some cases, such as those due to medicines, may go away completely and need no further monitoring or treatment.
How is the condition monitored?
A person taking medicines needs close monitoring for side effects and possible loss of effect of the medicines over time.
Article type: xmedgeneral