Basal Nuclei

Human anatomy > Central Nervous System > Basal Nuclei

Do you feel your hand shaking when they are at rest?  Do you experience hand tremors? If you are displaying these symptoms, then you have basal nuclei disorder. The basal nuclei are a group of cells that performs one of the vital motor functions of the body. It is tasked to coordinate, plan and organize motor movements. Without this group of nuclei, you will not be able to bring a glass of water to your lips. You would not also maintain correct body posture without the properly-functioning basic nuclei.

Basal nuclei

Primary Types

There are two primary types of basal nuclei which are grouped together to perform one function. These are the corpus striatum and the substantia nigra.  The corpus striatum differs from substantia nigra because it is found within the cerebrum, while the latter is found in the midbrain. Both of these types should exist in congruence with each other so that proper coordination or movements would occur.


The basal nuclei are connected to the thalamus, the cerebral cortex and to each other through intricate neural circuits. These feedback loops can be either inhibitory or stimulatory, depending on the needs of the body.  As indicated by the terminology of the loops, the inhibitory circuit inhibits activity of the stimulatory circuits.  This can result to tremors and reduced muscle tone when at rest. 

Motor coordination and organization are major functions of the body that have to occur without hitches.  If there is a dysfunction of these cells, debilitating conditions like cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease are unwanted outcomes. 

Slow, uncoordinated muscle movements caused by damage to the brain characterize cerebral palsy. Slow, rigid muscle movements depict Parkinson’s disease. A growing lesion can cause these symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Both of these conditions display resting tremors of the body.

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