Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Anatomy & Neurobiology

First Advisor

George R. Leichnetz


Oculomotor deficits are now recognized as being present in several neurological diseases of the basal ganglia. The present report will focus primarily on those observed in Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases. Neuronal cell loss in the pars compacta of the substantia nigra, degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway, and consequent depletion of the neurotransmitter dopamine is the most obvious etiological abnormality in Parkinson's disease. Huntington's disease, on the other hand, involves the selective genetically-driven atrophy of the striatum (caudate and putamen). In order to attempt to understand oculomotor dysfunction, as a component of basal ganglia disease, it is necessary to first establish a definition of the basal ganglia, its relevant connections, and their associated neurotransmitters and functions.


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