The centromedian nucleus: Anatomy, physiology, and clinical implications

Academic Article


  • © 2019 Elsevier Ltd Of all the truncothalamic nuclei, the centromedian-parafascicular nuclei complex (CM-Pf) is the largest and is considered the prototypic thalamic projection system. Located among the caudal intralaminar thalamic nuclei, the CM-Pf been described by Jones as “the forgotten components of the great loop of connections joining the cerebral cortex via the basal ganglia”. The CM, located lateral relative to the Pf, is a major source of direct input to the striatum and also has connections to other, distinct region of the basal ganglia as well as the brainstem and cortex. Functionally, the CM participates in sensorimotor coordination, cognition (e.g. attention, arousal), and pain processing. The role of CM as ‘gate control’ function by propagating only salient stimuli during attention-demanding tasks has been proposed. Given its rich connectivity and diverse physiologic role, recent studies have explored the CM as potential target for neuromodulation therapy for Tourette syndrome, Parkinson's disease, generalized epilepsy, intractable neuropathic pain, and in restoring consciousness. This comprehensive review summarizes the structural and functional anatomy of the CM and its physiologic role with a focus on clinical implications.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 18539315
  • Author List

  • Ilyas A; Pizarro D; Romeo AK; Riley KO; Pati S
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 7
  • Volume

  • 63