BASAL GANGLIA

What is Basal Ganglia Dysfunction?

The basal ganglia are structures deep within the brain that control movement.  Damage to the basal ganglia (basal ganglia dysfunction, also known as extra-pyramidal syndrome) can cause problems with a person’s ability to speak and move.  The condition may also cause problems with a person’s posture.  In addition, people with basal ganglia dysfunction may have problems beginning, stopping or sustaining movement.  A person’s memory may also be affected.

Symptoms of basal ganglia dysfunction may include involuntary or slowed movements.  A person may also experience increased muscle tone, muscle spasms and rigidity, as well as a loss of memory.  People with basal ganglia dysfunction may have difficulty finding words, experience tremors and tics (uncontrollable and repeated movements or speech), and have difficulty walking.

Medical professionals generally detect problems with the basal ganglia by conducting a CT or MRI scan of the head.  They may also conduct genetic tests.  In addition, doctors may order a magnetic resonance angiography to view blood vessels in the neck and brain.  A PET scan may look at metabolism in the brain.  Finally, blood tests may be required to check blood sugar, thyroid function, liver function and iron and copper levels in the blood.

What Causes Basal Ganglia Dysfunction?

Basal ganglia dysfunction is a type of brain damage.  In infants, it can be caused by oxygen deprivation (asphyxia) and stroke (basal ganglia stroke).  The dysfunction can also be cause by carbon monoxide and copper poisoning.  Drug overdose, head injury and infection may also cause basal ganglia dysfunction.  Damage to the basal ganglia may also occur as a result of metabolic problems, multiple sclerosis, side effects of various medications, and tumors.  Some causes of basal ganglia dysfunction are reversible, while others may require a lifetime of treatment.

Some brain disorders are often associated with basal ganglia dysfunction.  They are dystonia, Huntington’s disease, multiple system atrophy, Parkinson’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and Wilson’s disease.

How Gallivan & Gallivan Can Help If Your Child Experienced Basal Ganglia Damage

At Gallivan & Gallivan, we will attempt to identify the cause of your child’s basal ganglia damage, including asphyxia and basal ganglia stroke.  If the injury occurred as a result of medical malpractice or medical negligence, we will recover the compensation that you deserve from those responsible for your child’s injuries.

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