Lateral globus pallidus

Medically reviewed by Healthline Medical Team on April 15, 2015

The lateral globus pallidus (or external GPe) is part of the globus pallidus. The globus pallidus, in turn, is part of the basal ganglia, a cluster of nerve cells (neurons) that plays a role in regulating movement. The lateral globus pallidus is located deep in the brain, near its center.

The lateral globus pallidus and the subthalamic nucleus form a particular system called a coupled pacemaker. Pacemakers control and maintain rhythmic physiological activities in the body. The axons of the external globus pallidum — the threadlike parts of the nerves cells that move signals through the cell — go essentially to the subthalamic nucleus. They go also to other elements of the basal ganglia system, including the striatum and the internal globus pallidus, where they release the neurotransmitter GABA. A neurotransmitter is a chemical substance that relays nerve impulses across the gaps (synapses) that separate nerves.

GPe serves as the main regulator of the basal ganglia system. It is sometimes used as a target for “deep brain stimulation,” which is one mode of treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

CMS Id: 142019