Saturday, April 30, 2022

What Do The Pons Do In The Brain

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Can We Live Without Our Brains Pons

How Does PoNS Work?

While humans can live without a gallbladder, lung, and even a kidney, there are certain organs and parts of our bodies that we cannot live without. The Pons is one of those parts that we cannot live without. If you were to remove anything above the brainstem your body could theoretically survive, but if anything below the brainstem is gone you would not be able to survive.

The brainstem is what houses all of our primary functions, such as breathing, which the Pons is responsible for. Because of the part that the Pons plays in hearing, eating, facial expression, and eye movement, the Pons is NOT something you could live without. It relays messages throughout the brain and controls too many important vital functions we as human beings need.

You may have heard stories about people who have had traumatic brain injuries and survived, well it is because their brainstem wasnt touched. If those injuries involved anything to do with the brainstem they would die pretty quickly since that stem is so important.

Other External Anatomical Features Of The Pons

The same area from which these cranial nerves emerge is distinguished by a bulge formed by a structure called the transverse pontocerebellar fibers. This bundle of nerves connects to the cerebellum and constitutes the main afferent source of neuronal information to the cerebellum.

A large portion of the information sent via the pontocerebellar fibers concerns the planning and execution of fine movements, specifically, movements of the arm, forearm, and hand. These fibers wrap around the remainder of the brainstem.

An important landmark to take note of is the pontomedullary junction: this is marked by the angle between the inferior region of the pons and the superior boundary of the medulla oblongata.

The floor of the fourth ventricle constitutes the dorsal surface of the pons, along with that of the medulla oblongata. A few more structures can be identified in this region of the pons including the medial eminence, which marks the midline of the dorsal surface, the facial colliculus, a bulge formed by the fibers of the facial nerves that loop around the nucleus of the abducens, and the stria medullaris, a bundle of nerves belonging to the fourth ventricle.

Another landmark to help you identify the pons is called the cerebellopontine angle, where the cerebellar flocculus , the ventricular choroid plexus, and the facial and vestibulocochlear nerves surround the foramen of Luschka .

Ascending Tracts Of The Pons

The major ascending tracts include the dorsal columns, spinothalamic tracts, and spinocerebellar tracts, which are described below:

Dorsal Columns: The dorsal columns convey information about position sense , vibration, and discriminatory touch. Before reaching the pons, the fibers from these columns cross at the level of the lower medulla to form a structure called the medial lemniscus, which then traverses the pons. Damage to the medial lemnisci, at the level of the pons, results in sensory problems on the opposite side of the body.

Spinothalamic Tracts: These tracts convey sensations of pain, temperature, and light touch. The tracts cross shortly after entering the spinal cord and do not change sides as they ascend through the pons. Damage to the spinothalamic tracts, at the level of the pons, results in sensory problems on the opposite side of the body.

Spinocerebellar Tracts: These tracts convey subconscious information pertaining to proprioception to the cerebellum, the part of the brain concerned primarily with posture, tone, and balance. These tracts travel to the cerebellum via structures called cerebellar peduncles. Also, there are several nuclei within the pons whose axons unite to form one of the cerebellar peduncles which play a role in the function of the cerebellum. Therefore, damage to these tracts result in problems with posture, tone, and balance.

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Pons is an essential part of the brain located above the medulla. It falls in the category of the hindbrain. Pons is very important part of brain for the regulation and control of a number of vital functions. It not only acts as a control center, but also contains nuclei of some important cranial nerves. We can appreciate the importance of pons from the fact that any damage or trauma to pons can cause the immediate death of the person.

In this educational article, we will talk about the structure and location of pons, its important components, blood supply and development of pons, and its functions. We will also discuss some important lesions of pons along with the diseases caused.

Increase Pixel Dimensions Of Mri Of Brain

The Pons Function: Your Bridge To A Good Nights Sleep ...

Another potential advancement which is not getting much attention is to increase the pixel size of the scan to 1024 by 768, from what is typically something more equivalent to 360 pixels by 240 This type of resolution is now common when scanning for tumors. Why not brain injury? The failure to ask for a higher resolution images if partially because of priorities. Tumors are thought to be more dangerous than hemosiderin. But the fundamental reason a more focused and higher resolution scan isnt asked for is that few neurologists or neuroradiologists have thought about the advantages to aiming a telescopic image. Shouldnt such higher processing power be directed at the frontal lobes? Wouldnt those particularly vulnerable undersides of the frontal lobes and get a closer look? What about the lower brain structures and at the brain stem, areas that are difficult to image conventionally?

With all tailored protocols, there is always a cost benefit analysis. A tailored MRI protocol costs more. A tailored MRI protocol costs requires more attention from the neuroradiologist. A tailored MRI protocol also extends the amount of time that the patient must stay in the scanner. Time in a scanner can be unpleasant and exceedingly boring. Faster scanning times are eliminating some of that disadvantage. The ultimate answer as to why these more tailored protocols arent done is that no one is demanding it.

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Function Of Pons In The Brain

The Pons serves a specific function in the brain it sorts and relays messages between different sections of the brain. Specifically, the Pons relays messages between the cortex in the brain and the cerebellum.

Our brain is absolutely incredible and is what ultimately makes humans human. All the parts of the brain are extremely important, but the Pons stands out just a little more than some of the other parts. Check out this guide to learn all about the Pons.

The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around. Thomas A. Edison

The Ascending And Descending Fiber Pathways Of The Pons

The mammalian pons typically houses several distinct large and small fiber pathways, some of which are clearly evident in basic anatomical preparation and some of which need either specialized immunostaining or hodological studies to reveal. Despite this, the general pattern across mammals is quite similar and varies mostly in accordance with specific specializations of the different species, be they sensory or motor specializations. The rostral border of the pons is demarcated by the decussation of the superior cerebellar peduncle . From this decussation, the fibers coalesce to form a distinctive arc in a position dorsolateral to the pontine tegmentum. The superior cerebellar peduncle maintains this location within the pons to the level of the trigeminal motor nucleus, where it shifts dorsally to invest into the white matter of the cerebellum. In all mammals, the largest cerebellar peduncle is the middle cerebellar peduncle and the axons making up this structure arise from the ventral pontine nucleus. These invest into the cerebellar white matter from the lateral and ventral aspects of the pons.

Sumit Sarkar, Jennifer L. Walters, in, 2018

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How Does The Nervous System Work

The basic workings of the nervous system depend a lot on tiny cells called neurons. The brain has billions of them, and they have many specialized jobs. For example, sensory neurons send information from the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin to the brain. Motor neurons carry messages away from the brain to the rest of the body.

All neurons relay information to each other through a complex electrochemical process, making connections that affect the way you think, learn, move, and behave.

Intelligence, learning, and memory. As you grow and learn, messages travel from one neuron to another over and over, creating connections, or pathways, in the brain. It’s why driving takes so much concentration when someone first learns it, but later is second nature: The pathway became established.

In young children, the brain is highly adaptable. In fact, when one part of a young child’s brain is injured, another part often can learn to take over some of the lost function. But as you age, the brain has to work harder to make new neural pathways, making it harder to master new tasks or change set behavior patterns. That’s why many scientists believe it’s important to keep challenging the brain to learn new things and make new connections it helps keeps the brain active over the course of a lifetime.

The Senses

Smell. Olfactory cells in the mucous membranes lining each nostril react to chemicals you breathe in and send messages along specific nerves to the brain.

The Medulla Oblongata’s General Functions

PoNS Device/Balance Issues/Traumatic Brain Injury

Whereas the pons is located in the upper part of the brainstem, the medulla oblongata is a structure located in the lower half of the brainstem. Just because the medulla oblongata is beneath the pons doesn’t mean it’s any less significant. In fact, they often work in tandem on issues such as breathing.

The medulla oblongata is located in the lower portion of the brainstem.

In addition, the medulla oblongata is very important in things like your heart rate and blood pressure. Furthermore, it’s responsible for many reflexes in your body, or things you usually do not voluntarily control, such as vomiting, sneezing, and coughing.

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What Is The Capacity Of Our Brain

Since our brain does not work like a computer, it is not possible to calculate its capacity. However, it is a highly efficient biological system that performs very complex functions with very little energy consumption. Moreover, every day this whole body is in a rush in fact, the myth that we use ten percent is just an urban legend.

When does brain development stop ?

Our brain grows very quickly in the womb and in infancy. By making a final attack in adolescence, it rapidly develops towards its adult size and after that, its physical growth slows down. These are the periods when we learn the fastest and most productively, our behavior improves rapidly, and we master movement and thought.

After the age of 20, although our brain does not grow in volume, its neural networks continue to develop. It maintains its ability to renew its continuous connections, albeit at a reduced rate, throughout its entire life. The period we call learning depends on the brains ability to create new connections, and therefore this ability continues for a lifetime. This ability is called neuroplasticity in neuroscience language.

Ventricles And Cerebrospinal Fluid

Deep in the brain are four open areas with passageways between them. They also open into the central spinal canal and the area beneath arachnoid layer of the meninges.

The ventricles manufacture cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF, a watery fluid that circulates in and around the ventricles and the spinal cord, and between the meninges. CSF surrounds and cushions the spinal cord and brain, washes out waste and impurities, and delivers nutrients.

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Structure Of The Medulla Oblongata

The region between the anterior median and anterolateral sulci is occupied by an elevation on either side known as the pyramid of medulla oblongata. This elevation is caused by the corticospinal tract. In the lower part of the medulla, some of these fibers cross each other, thus obliterating the anterior median fissure. This is known as the decussation of the pyramids. Other fibers that originate from the anterior median fissure above the decussation of the pyramids and run laterally across the surface of the pons are known as the external arcuate fibers.

The region between the anterolateral and posterolateral sulcus in the upper part of the medulla is marked by a swelling known as the olivary body, caused by a large mass of gray matter known as the inferior olivary nucleus.

The posterior part of the medulla between the posterior median and posterolateral sulci contains tracts that enter it from the posterior funiculus of the spinal cord. These are the fasciculus gracilis, lying medially next to the midline, and the fasciculus cuneatus, lying laterally.

The lower part of the medulla, immediately lateral to the fasciculus cuneatus, is marked by another longitudinal elevation known as the tuberculum cinereum. It is caused by an underlying collection of gray matter known as the spinal nucleus of the trigeminal nerve. The gray matter of this nucleus is covered by a layer of nerve fibers that form the spinal tract of the trigeminal nerve.

Assessment Of Cell Proliferation

The Bridge Of The Brain: What Is The Pons?

For quantitation and mapping of cell proliferation, mid-pons axial hemisections immunostained for Ki67 were tiled at 10X magnification on an epifluorescence microscope using Stereo Investigator automated image capture system . Offline, all proliferating cells were marked for subsequent analysis by a blinded investigator. Criteria for inclusion as a positive Ki67 cell included clear nuclear staining of Ki67, co-localization with the nuclear marker DAPI, and lack of nonspecific staining in the same distribution. After defining tegmentum and basis contours for each hemisection, average cell density for total pons, tegmentum, and basis was tabulated. Specimens were grouped into one of five age groups: I , II , III , IV , and V . In addition, spatial distribution maps for tegmentum and basis as a function of postnatal age were plotted using StereoInvestigator software.

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Components Of The Brainstem

The three components of the brainstem are the medulla oblongata, midbrain, and pons.

Brainstem Anatomy: Structures of the brainstem are depicted on these diagrams, including the midbrain, pons, medulla, basilar artery, and vertebral arteries.

The medulla oblongata is the lower half of the brainstem continuous with the spinal cord. Its upper part is continuous with the pons. The medulla contains the cardiac, respiratory, vomiting, and vasomotor centers regulating heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure.

The midbrain is associated with vision, hearing, motor control, sleep and wake cycles, alertness, and temperature regulation.

The pons lies between the medulla oblongata and the midbrain. It contains tracts that carry signals from the cerebrum to the medulla and to the cerebellum. It also has tracts that carry sensory signals to the thalamus.

What Is The Work Of Pons In Brain

Located above the medulla oblongata and below the midbrain, the pons is an important part of the brain stem.

Measuring just under an inch, the pons connects the thinking part of your brain to the part of your brain that regulates movement , thus allowing them to function in sync.

In combination with the medulla oblongata, the pons also connects the cerebrum to the spinal cord and ensures that nerve impulses can travel freely through your whole body. Simply put, the pons acts as a bridge in your nervous system, so its no surprise that its name means bridge in Latin.

Apart from connecting different parts of the nervous system, the pons is also home to some essential cranial nerve nuclei. Thanks to this, it plays a part in sensory and motor functions of the face, hearing, and eye movement. The pons is also partially responsible for voluntary movements, as well as balance.

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S Of The Brain And The Function Of Pons

The brain is comprised of 3 major sections the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain. The forebrain is comprised of: the thalamus, the cerebrum, and the hypothalamus. The midbrain houses the tegmentum and the tectum. Finally, the hindbrain consists of the cerebellum, medulla, and the pons . There are also 4 lobes: the occipital lobe, temporal lobe, frontal lobe, and finally the parietal lobe. Lets cover what each portion of the brain does:

  • Temporal lobe: associated with hearing, speech, memory, and it also has a part of emotions
  • Occipital lobe: responsible for vision
  • Frontal lobe: involved with emotion, reasoning, movement, judgment, and planning
  • Parietal lobe: involved with movement, recognition, sense of touch, language, and even temperature
  • Thalamus: receives sensory information that it then sends to the cerebral cortex. Think of it as a relay station
  • Cerebrum: comprised of different parts, is responsible for learning, memory, language, sensory processing, smell, and movement
  • Hypothalamus: controls body temperature, hunger, thirst, emotion, and sleep
  • Tegmentum: involved in motor function and controls movement
  • Tectum: involved in auditory and visual functions
  • Cerebellum: responsible for movement and coordination
  • Medulla oblongata: besides being responsible for why alligators are so cranky, controls breathing, digestion, sneezing, swallowing, and heart function

The Pons Plays A Key Role In Regulating Breathing

2. Pons

The pons also contains a bundle of nerve cells known as the pneumotaxic center that is integral to the autonomic regulation of breathing. This includes how much air you breathe in and how soon you take another breath. It is up to the pons to ensure you get enough oxygen no matter your activity level.

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