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Nucleus dorsalis superficialis (lateralis dorsalis) of the thalamus and the limbic system in man
  1. J. M. Van Buren,
  2. R. C. Borke
  1. Surgical Neurology Branch, National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A.


    Although the earlier supposition was that the n. dorsalils superficialis (n. lateralis dorsalis) of the thalamus projected to the parietal region, more recent evidence has linked it to the posterior cingulate gyrus and possibly adjacent regions near the splenium of the corpus callosum. An afferent supply from lower levels was in more doubt, although some report had been made of cell and fibre degeneration in the n. dorsalis superficialis after extensive temporal resections and section of the fornix in lower primates. The five human hemispheres of the present study all had lesions of long duration below the level of the splenium of the corpus callosum in the posteromedial temporal region. All showed marked degeneration in the fornix and n. dorsalis superficialis. In favourably stained cases, gliotic fascicles could be followed from the descending column of the fornix to the n. dorsalis superficialis via the region lateral to the stria medullaris thalami. The cell loss in the nucleus thus appeared to be an instance of anterograde transynptic degeneration. These cases provided an interesting instance in which human infarctions provided natural lesions that would have been hard to duplicate in experimental animals.

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