The Hypothalamus
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The Hypothalamus



A slideshow all about the Hypothalamus, a vital part of the brain.

A slideshow all about the Hypothalamus, a vital part of the brain.



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    The Hypothalamus The Hypothalamus Presentation Transcript

    • The Hypothalamus
      • By Alexander Specking and Michael Sova
    • What and where is it?
      • The small center of the brain also known as the pleasure and pain center.
      • This area manages your extreme feelings, such as rage, joy, aggression and compassion, and your behaviour concerning these emotions.
    • Functions
      • It’s mainly responsible for controlling:
            • Metabolism
            • Homeostasis (constant internal environment)
            • Hunger
            • Thirst
            • Emotions
            • Body temperature regulation
            • Circadian rhythms
            • Sleep patterns & levels of consciousness, including fatigue
            • Blood Pressure
      • Also controls pituitary gland by secreting, producing and discharging, hormones. Because of this it has a great deal of control over many body functions.
    • How does it carry out the functions?
      • Carrying out these functions involves coordinating the activity of the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system, and ultimately influences several important behaviors.
    • Exercising Study: Barreto (2010)
      • Study led by Brazilian researchers at the University of Campinas.
      • They exercised obese rodents and found that they demonstrated signals of restored satiety in hypothalamic neurons and less food intake.
      • “ In obese animals, exercise increased IL-6 and IL-10 protein levels in the hypothalamus, and these molecules were crucial for increasing the sensitivity of the most important hormones, insulin and leptin, which control appetite.”
      • Besides burning calories working out also restores sensitivity of neurons which are involved in the maintenance of satiety, feeling full. This sequentially plays a part in reducing food intake and as a result weight loss.
      • The way exercise affects ones control of their body weight has only now been understood.
    • Depression Study (2008)
      • Chinese investigators from Hefei and Dutch researchers in Amsterdam.
      • Used donated postmortem human brain tissue.
      • Hypothalamus  of critical significance for development of symptoms of depression
      • Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) cells in PVN of human hypothalamus  central driving force of the stress response & hyperactive in depression.
      • Frozen hypothalami of 7 depressed patients and 7 controls obtained.
      • From 16 gene products that were studied, 5 were found to show significant changes.
      • The molecular changes found may not only explain hyperactivity of CRF cells but may also be potential targets for new therapeutic strategies.
    • Fear Study: Swanson (2009)
      • Larry Swanson of University of Southern California studied brain activity of rats & mice exposed to rival rodents or cats defending their territory.
      • New perspective on what part of brain controls fear: hypothalamus, not amygdala.
      • Made lesions in hypothalamus resulted in mice that were not afraid of their predators anymore.
      • The study replicated findings for male rats that wandered into another male's territory.
      • Even when losing vs. other male, the intruders returned.
    • Possible dysfunctions:
      • Some of the physical aspects and causes of Hypothalamic dysfunctions are:
        • Disordered sleep
        • Multiple hormonal dysfunctions
        • Immune dysfunction
        • Autonomic dysfunction
        • Altered body temperatures
        • Head trauma
        • Tumors
        • Malnutrition
        • Infection and swelling