Basal Ganglia Disease

By Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor


What is basal ganglia disease?

The basal ganglia is a collective group of structures in the brain. Basal ganglia disease is a group of physical dysfunctions that happen when this group fails to properly suppress unwanted movements or to properly control upper body movements.

How common is basal ganglia disease?

Though motor disorders are the most common associated with the basal ganglia, recent research shows that basal ganglia disorders can lead to other dysfunctions such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette syndrome. This condition can occur at any age, but it is considered as more popular in the old.

However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of basal ganglia disease?

It is believed that damage to the basal ganglia cells may cause problems controlling speech, movement, and posture. This combination of symptoms is called Parkinsonism.

An individual with basal ganglia dysfunction may have difficulty starting, stopping, or sustaining movement. Depending on which area of the brain is affected, there may also be problems with memory and other thought processes.

In general, symptoms vary and may include:

  • Movement changes, such as involuntary or slowed movements
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Muscle spasms and muscle rigidity
  • Problems finding words
  • Tremor
  • Uncontrollable, repeated movements, speech, or cries (tics)
  • Walking difficulty

When should I see my doctor?

Early diagnosis and treatment can stop this condition from worsening and prevent another medical emergency, so talk to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent this serious condition.

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes basal ganglia disease?

Some conditions than can cause injury to the brain can damage the basal ganglia. Such conditions include:

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Drug overdose
  • Head injury
  • Infection
  • Liver disease
  • Metabolic problems
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Poisoning with copper, manganese, or other heavy metals
  • Stroke
  • Tumors

A common cause of these findings is chronic use of medicines used to treat schizophrenia.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for basal ganglia disease?

You may have higher risks for this condition if you are experiencing these following conditions:

  • Dystonia (muscle tone problems)
  • Huntington disease (disorder in which nerve cells in certain parts of the brain waste away, or degenerate)
  • Multiple system atrophy (widespread nervous system disorder)
  • Parkinson disease
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy (movement disorder from damage to certain nerve cells in the brain)
  • Wilson disease (disorder causing too much copper in the body’s tissues)

Diagnosis & Treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.


How is basal ganglia disease diagnosed?

If your doctor suspects that you may experience this condition, a physical examination will be performed and some tests will be also recommended by your doctor. Your doctor also asks you about your medical history. Some common tests will be ordered by your doctor may include:

  • CT and MRI of the head
  • Genetic testing
  • Magnetic resonance angiography to look at the blood vessels in the neck and brain
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) to look at the metabolism of the brain
  • Blood tests to check blood sugar, thyroid function, liver function, and iron and copper levels

How is basal ganglia disease treated? 

Depending on the cause of this condition, your doctor will recommend you some treatment options. Your treatments could be medication, or surgery.

Lifestyle changes & Home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage basal ganglia disease?

Following these useful tips can help you to prevent this condition:

  • Wearing helmet while driving
  • Eating proper diet
  • Having overall medical checkup every three months.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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