Neuronal loss in Parkinson's disease (PD) is more widespread than originally thought. Among the extrastriatal sites in which significant loss of neurons has been reported is the centremedian-parafascicular (CM-PF) complex of the thalamus, which provides one of the three major afferent sources to the striatum. The functional significance of CM-PF loss in PD is unclear. Interestingly, several recent small trials have suggested that deep brain stimulation of the CM-PF improves motor function in PD. We discuss the possible transsynaptic determination of CM-PF loss secondary to nigrostriatal dopamine degeneration, and suggest that expression of the glycoprotein cerebellin1 (Cbln1) in CM-PF neurons may play an important role in striatal synaptic remodeling in parkinsonism.