Clinical Neuroscience

Insights into the structure and function of the hippocampal formation: Relevance to Parkinson’s disease

GYÖRFI Orsolya, NAGY Helga, BOKOR Magdolna, KÉRI Szabolcs

JANUARY 30, 2018

Clinical Neuroscience - 2018;71(01-02)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18071/isz.71.0015

The link between the hippocampus and declarative memory dysfunctions following the removal of the medial temporal lobe opened unexplored fields in neuroscience. In the first part of our review, we summarized current theoretical frameworks discussing the role of hippocampus in learning and memory. Several theories are highlighted suggesting that the hippocampus is responsible for assembling stimulus elements into a unitary representation that later can be utilized to simulate future events. The hippocampal formation has been implicated in a growing number of disorders, from neurodegenerative diseases to atypical cognitive ageing and depression. Recent neuroimaging studies provided new opportunities to study in detail the hippocampal formation’s role in higher levels of the nervous system. We will present data regarding the regional specialization of the hippocampus in experimental models developed for healthy and neurological conditions with a special focus on Parkinson’s disease. Combined evidence from neuroimaging studies suggested that hippocampal volume is reduced in non-demented, newly diagnosed patients with Parkinson’s disease, which is associated with impaired memory performance. These findings proposed that, beyond the well-known striatal dopamine loss, impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity may contribute to cognitive and affective impairments in early Parkinson’s disease.

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