The current model of basal ganglia (BG) was introduced two decades ago and has settled most of our current understanding of BG function and dysfunction. Extensive research efforts have been carried out in recent years leading to further refinement and understanding of the normal and diseased BG. Several questions, however, are yet to be resolved. This short review provides a synopsis of the evolution of thought regarding the pathophysiological model of the BG and summarizes the main recent findings and additions to this field of research. We have also tried to identify major challenges that need to be addressed and resolved in the near future. Detailed accounts and state-of-the-art developments concerning research on the BG are provided in the articles that make up this Special Issue.
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, dopamine, subthalamic nucleus, caudate putamen, substantia nigra
Citation: Obeso JA and Lanciego JL (2011) Past, present, and future of the pathophysiological model of the basal ganglia. Front. Neuroanat. 5:39. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2011.00039
Received: 25 May 2011; Accepted: 29 June 2011;
Published online: 12 July 2011.
Edited by:Enrico Mugnaini, Northwestern University, USA
Reviewed by:Stefano Taverna, Italian Institute of Technology, Italy
Copyright: © 2011 Obeso and Lanciego. This is an open-access article subject to a non-exclusive license between the authors and Frontiers Media SA, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and other Frontiers conditions are complied with.
*Correspondence: José A. Obeso and José L. Lanciego Neurosciences Division, Center for Applied Medical Research, University of Navarra, Pio XII Avenue 55, 31008 Pamplona, Spain. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com