- 1. A specific area within the brain, the putamen is one of three portions into which a structure called the lenticular nucleus is conventionally divided. The putamen is structurally similar to the caudate nucleus together with which it composes what is termed the striatum. The word "putamen" is from Latin, referring to that which falls off in pruning, from "puto", to prune. It is pronounced pyu-ta´men.
2. An area of the brain that decreases in size as a result of the damage produced by Huntington's Disease.
* * *The outer, larger, and darker gray of the three portions into which the lenticular nucleus is divided by laminae of white fibers; it is connected with the caudate nucleus by bridging bands of gray substance that penetrate the internal capsule. Its histologic structure is similar to that of the caudate nucleus together with which it composes the striatum. SEE ALSO: striate body, lenticular nucleus. [L. that which falls off in pruning, fr. puto, to prune]
* * *pu·ta·men pyü-'tā-mən n, pl pu·tam·i·na -'tam-ə-nə an outer reddish layer of gray matter in the lentiform nucleuspu·tam·i·nous -'tam-ə-nəs adj
* * *n.
* * *pu·ta·men (pu-taґmən) [L. â€œshellâ€] [TA] the larger, darker (in unstained brain slices) and more lateral part of the lentiform nucleus, separated from the lateral globus pallidus by the lateral medullary lamina. putaminal adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.