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Topography of cortico-striatal connections in man: anatomical evidence for parallel organization.
European Journal of Neuroscience
Tracing studies in non-human primates support the existence of several parallel neuronal circuits involving cerebral cortex, basal ganglia and thalamus. Distinct functional loops were proposed to underlie multiple aspects of normal and pathological behaviour in man. We present here the first anatomical evidence for separate corticostriatal systems in humans. Neural connections of the sensorimotor and prefrontal cortex to the striatum were studied in one human brain using the Nauta method for anterogradely degenerating axons. Axons originating from a lesion in the left sensorimotor cortex, including the face area, were found to terminate in the superolateral part of the ipsilateral putamen, forming a narrow band in its posterior part. Inside the band, the distribution of degenerating axons was inhomogeneous; high-density clusters of approximately 2.5 mm in diameter were separated by regions with less dense cortical projections. Axons originating from a small lesion in the fundus of the right superior frontal sulcus were found in the upper part of the ipsilateral caudate nucleus. The existence of discrete and anatomically segregated terminal patches originating from distinct cortical regions suggests parallel organization of cortico-striatal connections in man.
Aged, Axons, Cadaver, Cerebral Cortex, Corpus Striatum, Humans, Male, Nerve Degeneration, Neural Pathways
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