Mol Pain. 2010;6:27 doi: 10.1186/1744-8069-6-27. 2010 May 13.

A key role of the basal ganglia in pain and analgesia--insights gained through human functional imaging

Borsook D, Upadhyay J, Chudler EH, Becerra L.


The basal ganglia (BG) are composed of several nuclei involved in neural processing related to the execution of motor, cognitive and emotional activities. Preclinical and clinical data have implicated a role for these structures in pain processing. Recently neuroimaging has added important information on BG activation in conditions of acute pain, chronic pain and as a result of drug effects. Our current understanding of alterations in cortical and sub-cortical regions in pain suggests that the BG are uniquely involved in thalamo-cortico-BG loops to integrate many aspects of pain. These include the integration of motor, emotional, autonomic and cognitive responses to pain.

PMID: 20465845