What is substantia nigra?

  • (noun): A layer of deeply pigmented gray matter in the midbrain; associated with the striate body; is involved in metabolic disturbances associated with Parkinson's disease and with Huntington's disease.
    Synonyms: nucleus niger, locus niger

Substantia Nigra

The substantia nigra is a brain structure located in the mesencephalon (midbrain) that plays an important role in reward, addiction, and movement. Substantia nigra is Latin for "black substance", reflecting the fact that parts of the substantia nigra appear darker than neighboring areas due to high levels of melanin in dopaminergic neurons. Parkinson's disease is characterized by the death of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta.

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Some articles on substantia nigra:

Substantia Nigra - Additional Images
... Schematic representation of the chief ganglionic categories (I to V) Deep dissection of brain-stem ... Lateral view Deep dissection of brain-stem ...
Primate Basal Ganglia System - Pallido-nigral Set and Pacemaker - Constitution - Substantia Nigra
... The substantia nigra was first called the "tache noire" or "locus niger" (black spot) by Vicq d'Azyr (1786), then "substantia nigra" ('black substance ... The "nucleus substantiae nigrae", the nigrum, or nigra in fact comprises two adjoining but contrasted components one of which is not black but pale ... The similarity of the neuronal type of the pallidum and that of the nigra was emphazised as soon as in 1896 by Mirto ...
MPTP - Toxicity
... neurons in a part of the brain called the pars compacta of the substantia nigra ... direction of complex movement is based from the substantia nigra to the putamen and caudate nucleus, which then relay signals to the rest of the brain ... thought to only suffer from cell death in the substantia nigra (to differing degree according to the strain of mice used) but do not show Parkinsonian symptoms, however most of the recent studies indicate ...
Science and The Melanin Theory
... that, because neuromelanin, which is found in the substantia nigra (in Latin, literally "black substance") of the human brain, plays a role in the transmission of neuronal impulses, higher levels of melanin ... However, no direct correlation between skin color and the level of melanin in the substantia nigra has been observed ... There is, however, a correlation between cutaneous melanin and the substantia nigra vis-a-vis Parkinson's disease, a neurological disease condition in which there is a loss of melanin-pigmented ...
Basal Ganglia
... the striatum, the globus pallidus, the substantia nigra, and the subthalamic nucleus ... The substantia nigra is the source of the striatal input of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which plays an important role in basal ganglia function ... degeneration of the dopamine-producing cells in the substantia nigra pars compacta, and Huntington's disease, which primarily involves damage to the striatum ...