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Updated: May 14 2018

Thalamus

4.3

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(10)

  • Overview
  • Introduction
    • Function
      • serves as a major sensory relay center which will ultimately reach the neocortex
      • central nervous system structures involved in motor movement can also synapse in the thalamus
        • these structures include
          • cerebellum
          • basal ganglia
    • Anatomy
      • Select Thalamic Nuclei
      • Nuclei
      • Circuitry
      • Anterior nuclear group
      • Input
        • mamillary body (via the mammillothalamic tract)
      • Output
        • cingulate gyrus (part of Papez circuit)
      • Medial nuclear group
      • Input
        • amygdala
        • prefrontal cortex
        • temporal lobe
      • Output
        • prefrontal cortex
        • cingulate gyrus
      • Nuclei example
        • dorsomedial nucleus
        • thiamine deficiency¬†can result in degeneration of this thalamic nuclei
      • Ventral posterolateral (VPL) nucleus
      • Input
        • sensory information from the dorsal columns and spinothalamic tract
          • dorsal columns
            • pressure
            • vibration
            • proprioception
            • fine touch
          • spinothalamic
            • pain and temperature
            • crude touch
      • Outputprimary somatosensory cortex
      • Ventral posteromedial (VPM) nucleus
      • Input
        • sensory information of trigeminal and gustatory afferents (in other words, the face)
      • Output
        • primary somatosensory cortex
      • Ventral lateral (VL) nucleus
      • Input
        • globus pallidus
        • cerebellar dentate nucleus
      • Output
        • primary motor cortex
      • Medial geniculate body
      • Input
        • inferior colliculus (in other words, hearing)
      • Output
        • auditory cortex
      • Lateral geniculate body
      • Input
        • optic nerve (cranial nerve II)
      • Output
        • primary visual cortex
    • Clinical correlate
      • thalamic pain syndrome
        • patients can present with a burning sensation and allodynia
        • this is secondary to
          • a stroke affecting the thalamus
      • Wernicke encephalopathy
        • a neurologic emergency secondary to thiamine deficiency which affects the
          • mamillary bodies (in almost all cases)
          • dorsomedial thalamus
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