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MCAT Question A Day - 3/23/14 - Answer!

Parkinsonism is a degeneration of the cerebrum’s basal ganglia, which help regulate contractions of skeletal muscles through the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Symptoms can include tremor and/or rigidity, wide-eyed staring, and drooling. Intelligence, vision, and hearing remain unaffected by this disorder, which suggests that Parkinsonism does not attack the

A.  medulla oblongata.
B.  diencephalon (thalamus and hypothalamus).
C.  dorsal root ganglia.
D.  cerebral cortex.

The correct answer is (D). Familiarity with brain structure and function is required. Although most information in the question relates to the effects of Parkinsonism, the question really asks which part of the brain is associated with “intelligence, vision, and hearing . . . unaffected by this disorder. . . .”

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