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From the Editor
Editor's Note
 
Memory News
Fatty food weighs down muscles and memory
 
Pumping Neurons: Exercise to maintain a healthy brain
The evidence is growing that moderate regular exercise boosts memory and other brain functions and may help prevent age-related declines.
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How Parkinsonís disease affects the mind

It’s not just a movement disorder. Besides causing tremors and other motion-related symptoms, Parkinson’s disease affects memory, learning, and behavior.

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Creative healing: art therapy for Alzheimer's disease and other dementias
As medical science races to cure dementia, storytelling and other creative activities promise a better quality of life for the millions already diagnosed.
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Memory Tip
Medicate Your Memory
Glossary
Basal Ganglia
 

The basal ganglia are a group of brain structures that lie deep within the brain (“ganglia” is the plural form of “ganglion”). They are important for voluntary control of movement and for action selection – the ability to choose one of several possible sequences of motor movements in order to achieve a goal, such as reaching out a hand to pick up one of several pieces of food, or choosing one card from a deck of cards. The basal ganglia are strongly influenced by the frontal lobes, which may help decide what particular goal is being pursued at the current moment.

One part of the basal ganglia is the substantia nigra, which produces the neurotransmitter known as dopamine. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the death of cells in the substantia nigra, and this leads to disrupted functioning of the basal ganglia as a whole, which in turn produces the characteristic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, such as tremor, dyskinesia, and trouble initiating voluntary movements.

by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2009 Memory Loss and the Brain