The Hypothalamus


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

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The Hypothalamus

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