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Hypothalamus diencephalon thalamus & pineal glands

Updated: Aug 3





Hypothalamus

There are three parts of diencephalon, thalamus, hypothalamus and pineal glands

Thalamus is for processing and relaying sensory information selectively to several parts of the cerebral cortex, as one thalamic point may reach one or several regions of the cortex. It also plays a vital part in regulating sleep and wakefulness.

Hypothalamus regulates certain metabolic processes and functions, also other activities of the Autonomic Nervous System.

It secrets and synthesizes neuro hormones (sometimes called hypothalamic-releasing hormones), and in return they stimulate or inhibit the secretions of pituitary hormones.

It controls hunger, thirst, anger, temperature, anger, fatigue and circadian cycles.

Pineal gland produces melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone which can modulate wake or sleep pattern, but perform also other functions in the central nervous system (it is a derivate of the amino acid tryptophan).

Like Darkness increases the production of melatonin and signals the body to fall asleep.

In other words,

melatonin helps you to maintain the circadian cycle, which is the body’s very own 24 hour cycle.

The Hypothalamus

The Hypothalamus is more like a big brother.

It is the part of the brain and constantly monitoring the levels certain vital aspects of our body functions like Blood sugar concentration, body temperature and the mineral content of the various compartments of our body systems.

Any changing either too much or too little will trigger a signal from the hypothalamus to another part of our brain called the pituitary gland. Pituitary gland will release a hormone that will be released to go and stimulate the specific parts of the body concerned with the undesired changes to bring back to normal state.

As you can already imagine, if the hypothalamus is damaged, our bodies will not be able to detect these critical changes in our body function. This can lead to deranged glucose levels, body temperature and a myriad other things that may not be compatible with life

What will happen if the hypothalamus is damaged?

The hypothalamus is responsible for hormone production, so an imbalance of hormones would cause sleep disorders and appetite changes to begin with, and can eventually lead to growth problems as well. Hormones control various functions in the body so the effects of a damaged hypothalamus would be wide - spread, causing changes in body temperature, fluid balance (anti - diuretic hormone), etc.

 Hypothalamus gland not considered as a master gland?

The Pituitary gland is called as the “Master gland”, since it governs the functioning of all the other endocrine glands of the body. And some functions of the master gland pituitary are governed by the hypothalamus gland, which makes it the master of master gland..

For instance, the hypothalamus secretes certain releasing hormones,

(GnRH- gonadotropin releasing hormone;

PRH- prolactin releasing hormone;

CRH- corticotropin releasing hormone;

TRH- thyroid releasing hormone; .etc)

which in turn stimulate the pituitary to release some stimulating hormones

( TSH- thyroid stimulating hormone;

FSH- follicle stimulating hormone;

ICSH- interstitial cell stimulating hormone;

MSH- melanocyte stimulating hormone; etc.),

Which stimulate the respective glands to release their hormones for the required functioning of the body.

Hence,

Hypothalamus is known as the “Master of master” gland.

If the hypothalamus stops working

If the hypothalamus stopped working, we would likely see changes to thirst and body heat control. As well as, emotional control

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