The Biggest Part: The Cerebrum
The biggest part of the brain is the cerebrum. The cerebrum is the thinking part of the brain and it controls your voluntary muscles the ones that move when you want them to. So you need your cerebrum to dance or kick a soccer ball.
You need your cerebrum to solve math problems, figure out a video game, and draw a picture. Your memory lives in the cerebrum both short-term memory and long-term memory . The cerebrum also helps you reason, like when you figure out that youd better do your homework now because your mom is taking you to a movie later.
The cerebrum has two halves, with one on either side of the head. Scientists think that the right half helps you think about abstract things like music, colors, and shapes. The left half is said to be more analytical, helping you with math, logic, and speech. Scientists do know for sure that the right half of the cerebrum controls the left side of your body, and the left half controls the right side.
Blood Supply To The Brain
Two sets of blood vessels supply blood and oxygen to the brain: the vertebral arteries and the carotid arteries.
The external carotid arteries extend up the sides of your neck, and are where you can feel your pulse when you touch the area with your fingertips. The internal carotid arteries branch into the skull and circulate blood to the front part of the brain.
The vertebral arteries follow the spinal column into the skull, where they join together at the brainstem and form the basilar artery, which supplies blood to the rear portions of the brain.
The circle of Willis, a loop of blood vessels near the bottom of the brain that connects major arteries, circulates blood from the front of the brain to the back and helps the arterial systems communicate with one another.
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Eat A Balanced Healthy Diet
A balanced diet is good for your health but it can also affect your hormones.
For example, malnourished children may not produce enough growth hormone to meet growth goals for their age group.
General tips for healthy eating include:
- eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which are great sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals
- choosing good sources of fats, such as those that contain omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats
- opting for whole grains over refined grains
- reducing sodium intake
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Traditionally The Neuroendocrine System Has Been Considered In Two Parts That Part Dealing With The Posterior Pituitary Or Neurohypophysis
The meaning of pituitary portal system is a portal system supplying blood to the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland through veins connecting the . The hypophyseal portal vessels were studied in forty nine species of birds. Second compartment of a portal system and the propor tion of blood shunted through the first. This capillary network is a part of the hypophyseal portal system which carries substances from the hypothalamus to the anterior pituitary and hormones from . The primary capillary plexus in the median eminence is single or divided into an . The anterior pituitary receives blood which descends from the hypothalamus along the infundibulum as a portal system · structure and location · hypophyseal portal system · hypothalamohypophyseal tract · anterior pituitary . Traditionally, the neuroendocrine system has been considered in two parts, that part dealing with the posterior pituitary, or neurohypophysis Homeostatic integration within the hypothalamus. Posterior pituitary drains both by short portal veins. If regions of the anterior pituitary gland received systemic blood via a direct. The hypophyseal portal system is a system of blood vessels in the microcirculation at the base of the brain, connecting the hypothalamus with the anterior . Complete or partial interruption of the hypophyseal portal vessels.
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What Is A Pituitary Tumour
The pituitary gland is a small, oval-shaped gland at the base of the brain. It is below the nerves that lead to and from the eyes. These are called the optic nerves.
The pituitary gland makes hormones. These control other hormone-producing glands in the body, such as the adrenal and thyroid glands. Hormones are chemical messengers that help control how organs and tissues in the body work.
The pituitary gland is divided into two parts which produce different hormones:
- the anterior
The anterior pituitary gland produces different hormones:
- the growth hormone
- prolactin, which causes the production of breast milk after childbirth
- ACTH , which causes the production of hormones from the adrenal glands
- TSH , which causes the production of hormones from the thyroid gland to control growth, metabolism and reproduction
- FSH , which stimulates the ovaries in women
- LH , which stimulates the testes in men.
The posterior pituitary produces:
- ADH , which reduces the amount of urine produced by the kidneys
- oxytocin, which stimulates the contraction of the womb during childbirth and the release of breast milk when breastfeeding.
Pituitary gland tumours are a type of brain tumour. They are usually benign . Benign tumours do not usually spread to other parts of the brain. But they may cause problems as they grow by pressing on surrounding tissue. They are usually called pituitary adenomas.
Pituitary gland tumours are either:
- non-secreting .
What Happens When The Pituitary Gland Doesnt Work Properly
Your pituitary gland plays such an important role that a lot can go wrong if it overproduces hormones or under-produces hormones . Overproduction or underproduction can affect metabolism, growth, blood pressure, sex functions and more.
Pituitary disorders occur when your pituitary gland fails to function as it normally should, likely because of a tumor, which is an abnormal growth of cells. Expert endocrinologists determined that about one in five people will get a tumor in their pituitary gland . Thankfully, the tumors are usually noncancerous . Cancers of the pituitary gland rarely happen. Sometimes a pituitary gland will even have a tumor for years thats both benign and doesnt cause any symptoms.
There are two types of tumors: functioning and nonfunctioning. A functioning tumor produces hormones itself and a nonfunctioning tumor does not. Nonfunctioning tumors are more common.
You should see an endocrinologist, a specialist in the pituitary gland, if you have a tumor. You may also need to see an ophthalmologist and neurosurgeon .
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What Hormones Does The Pituitary Gland Make
The pituitary gland makes:
- growth hormone, which regulates growth
- thyroid stimulating hormone, which tells the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones
- prolactin, which controls breast milk production
- adrenocorticotrophic hormone, which tells the adrenal glands to make hormones to control blood pressure, blood sugar levels and stress
- follicle stimulating hormone, which is involved in the reproductive system
- luteinising hormone, which is also involved in the reproductive system
- oxytocin, which is involved in childbirth and breastfeeding
How Does The Brain Work
The brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals throughout the body. Different signals control different processes, and your brain interprets each. Some make you feel tired, for example, while others make you feel pain.
Some messages are kept within the brain, while others are relayed through the spine and across the bodys vast network of nerves to distant extremities. To do this, the central nervous system relies on billions of neurons .
What Could Go Wrong With My Pituitary Gland
The pituitary gland is an important gland in the body and the hormones it produces carry out varied tasks and regulate the function of many other organs. This means that the symptoms experienced when the pituitary gland stops working correctly can be different, depending on which hormone is affected.
Conditions that affect the pituitary gland directly can be divided into three main categories:
A cell type may divide and then form a small benign lump, known as a tumour, and the patient may then suffer from the effects of too much of the hormone the cell produces. If the tumour grows very large, even though still benign, it may squash the surrounding cells and stop them working , or push upwards and interfere with vision a visual field defect. Very occasionally, the tumour may expand sideways and cause double vision as it affects the nerves that control eye movements. It should be emphasised that even when these tumours are large, they very rarely spread to other parts of the body.
Large Tumors And Pituitary Carcinomas
Pituitary macroadenomas and carcinomas , whether functional or not, can be large enough to press on nearby nerves or parts of the brain. This can lead to symptoms such as:
- Eye muscle weakness so the eyes don’t move in the same direction at the same time
- Blurred or double vision
- Loss of consciousness
Vision problems occur when the tumor pinches the nerves that run between the eyes and the brain. Sudden loss of vision, loss of consciousness, and even death can result from sudden bleeding into the tumor.
Macroadenomas and pituitary carcinomas can also press on and destroy the normal parts of the pituitary gland. This causes a shortage of one or more pituitary hormones. Low levels of some body hormones such as cortisol, thyroid hormone, and sex hormones cause symptoms. Depending on which hormones are affected, symptoms might include:
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Loss of body hair
- Menstrual changes or loss of menstrual periods in women
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Growth of breast tissue in men
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Clinical Significance: Pituitary Adenoma
A pituitary adenoma is a neoplasm of the pituitary gland. These tumours are usually benign and can be divided into two categories: non-functional tumours and hormone secreting tumours.
As the tumour increases in size, it can compress surrounding structures, such as the optic chiasm. A lesion of the optic chiasm characteristically produces a visual defect known as a bitemporal hemianopia. A pituitary tumour can also cause excessive hormone production, or insufficient hormone production .
Definitive treatment of a pituitary adenoma is via trans-sphenoidal surgery. This technique involves gaining access to the gland via the nasal cavity and sphenoid sinus .
Structure And Function Of Anterior Pituitary Hormones
The hormones of the anterior pituitary are proteins that consist of one or two long polypeptide chains. TSH, LH, and FSH are called glycoproteins because they contain complex carbohydrates known as glycosides. Each of those hormones is composed of two glycopeptide chains, one of which, the alpha chain, is identical in all three hormones. The other chain, the beta chain, differs in structure for each hormone, thereby explaining the different actions of TSH, LH, and FSH. As is the case for all protein hormones, the hormones of the anterior pituitary are synthesized in the cytoplasm of the cells as large inactive molecules called prohormones. Those prohormones are stored in granules, within which they are cleaved into active hormones and are secreted into the circulation.
Each pituitary hormone plays a vital role in endocrine function. Thyrotropin stimulates the production of thyroid hormone. ACTH stimulates the production of cortisol and androgenic hormones by the adrenal cortex. FSH stimulates the production of estrogens and the growth of egg cells in the ovaries in women and sperm cells in the testes in men. LH stimulates the production of estrogens and progesterone by the ovaries in women and the production of testosterone by the testes in men. GH stimulates linear growth in children and helps to maintain bone and other tissues in adults. Prolactin stimulates milk production.
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What Does The Pituitary Gland Do
Glands are organs that secrete hormones the chemical messengers of the body that travel through your bloodstream to different cells, telling them what to do. The major hormones produced by the pituitary gland are:
- ACTH: Adrenocorticotrophic hormone. Stimulates the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that maintains blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- FSH: Follicle-stimulating hormone. Promotes sperm production and stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen.
- LH: Luteinizing hormone. Stimulates ovulation in women and testosterone production in men.
- GH: Growth hormone. Helps maintain healthy muscles and bones and manage fat distribution.
- PRL: Prolactin. Causes breast milk to be produced after childbirth. It also affects hormones that control the ovaries and testes, which can affect menstrual periods, sexual functions and fertility.
- TSH: Thyroid-stimulating hormone. Stimulates the thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism, energy and the nervous system.
- Oxytocin: Helps labor to progress, causes breast milk to flow, affects labor, breastfeeding, behavior and social interaction and the bonding between a mother and child.
- ADH: Anti-diuretic hormone, or vasopressin. Regulates water balance and sodium levels.
Hormones are not released from the pituitary gland in a steady stream. They come in bursts, every one to three hours, and alternate between periods of activity and periods of inactivity.
What Is The Treatment For Pituitary Disorders
This will depend upon the cause. If there is hormone deficiency then this may need replacement with tablets. If a tumour is discovered as the cause of the problems then pituitary surgery may be required. This is usually via the nose. If there is a pituitary tumour which is found to be cancerous then radiotherapy may be needed after surgery. There may also be a need for lifelong hormone replacement following any treatment.
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Learn More About Brain And Pituitary Gland Injuries
If you or someone you know has recently suffered a brain injury, they may be suffering from pituitary damage. At Brain Injury Law of Seattle, we believe in educating those involved in the brain injury community, so that less people will slip through the medical system with unrecognized pituitary injuries and will get the treatment they need to once again feel like they did before their brain injury. Explore the common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury or learn more about the causes of pituitary gland damage.
Key Takeaways: Pituitary Gland
- The pituitary gland is called the Master Gland because it directs a multitude of endocrine functions in the body. It regulates hormone activity in other endocrine glands and organs.
- Pituitary activity is regulated by hormones of the hypothalamus, a brain region connected to the pituitary by the pituitary stalk.
- The pituitary is composed of an anterior and posterior lobe with an intermediate region between the two.
- Hormones of the anterior pituitary include adrenocorticotropin hormones , growth hormone , luteinizing hormone , follicle-stimulating hormone , prolactin , and thyroid-stimulating hormone .
- Hormones stored by the posterior pituitary include antidiuretic hormone and oxytocin.
- Melanocyte-stimulating hormone is an intermediate pituitary hormone.
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Symptoms Of A Pituitary Gland Condition
Your pituitary gland is involved in a range of things, so any condition involving it can produce a diverse set of symptoms.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you regularly notice:
Most of the conditions that cause these symptoms are easy to treat and manage once you determine the underlying cause.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Pituitary Tumor
Many symptoms may point towards a pituitary tumor. If the tumor is putting pressure on the gland, your symptoms could include:
- Vision problems .
If the pituitary gland is not producing enough hormones, your symptoms could include:
- Inappropriate production of breast milk.
There are several conditions that involve the pituitary gland:
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Some Disorders Of The Pituitary Gland
Pituitary disorders generally occur when the pituitary gland is either too active or not active enough. Often there is a discrete piece of pituitary gland which leads to the problems, this is called a pituitary adenoma . These are usually benign, non-cancerous tumours. Pituitary adenomas can cause problems through:
Conditions where the pituitary gland produces too much of one or more of its hormones include:
- Tumours of, or injury to, the hypothalamus, having a knock-on effect on the pituitary gland.
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The Bayly Research Study
This study used volunteers who agreed to have their head strapped into a fiberglass frame within a MRI, and to have their head drop a few centimeters in order to simulate the motion of a rear end or side collision. The volunteers did this 288 times in order to have 288 images taken of the brain motion in different phases of the rear end or side impact. The images were then strung together in order to simulate the motion of the brain during impact. This study was the first to use human subjects rather than computer models, since computer models cannot simulate the manner in which brain tissue moves on impact, and the researchers were able to then isolate which areas of the brain bore the brunt of the force when a whiplash rattles a drivers brain.
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