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What Does The Medulla Do In The Brain

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How A Stroke Affects The Brain Stem

How Alcohol Affects Your Developing Medulla

When a stroke occurs in the brain stem, the supply of blood becomes compromised by a clogged artery or burst artery . This is a medical emergency because brain cells begin to die from a lack of oxygen-rich blood.

A stroke can occur in any of the three major areas of the brain stem: the midbrain, pons, and medulla. Furthermore, some strokes that injure the brain stem also affect the cerebellum or other surrounding areas.

When a brain stem stroke occurs, it can cause atypical symptoms like vertigo and nausea. These are much different than the hallmark symptoms of a stroke, such as slurred speech and arm weakness. As a result, brain stem strokes can be difficult to diagnose.

As with all strokes, the event is a medical emergency that requires swift treatment to save the persons life.

After a stroke has been treated, the patient must work to overcome the secondary effects that occur. These effects vary greatly among survivors, which we will discuss next.

What Is The Function Of The Medulla In Psychology

The medulla is primarily in charge of autonomous functions, most of which are involuntary. This means that they happen automatically without any thought. However, just because the medulla oblongata function doesnt play a part in thinking doesnt mean it isnt interesting to psychologists.

You see, the medulla is located at the very bottom of the brain. It bridges the gap between the brain and the spinal cord. This means that any information traveling to and from the brain must pass through the medulla on its way to other parts of the body.

We already know that the cerebrum is the part of the brain in charge of thinking. Theres also some evidence that the cerebellum plays a role in this process. These two brain regions dont have a direct connection, which means that they have to communicate via the medulla and the brain stem.

What Is The Brainstem And What Does It Do

In addition to connecting the brain to the rest of the nervous system, the brainstem has a number of essential functions. To simplify things, I’ll discuss some of the functions associated with each of the three major regions of the brainstem. It should be noted, however, that the organization of the brainstem is very complex and this is just an overview.

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Treatment For Brain Stem Damage

To treat brain stem damage, you must address the symptoms. The most effective way to do this is to trigger neuroplasticity, your brains natural healing mechanism.

Because of neuroplasticity, your brain can form new neural pathways. These pathways allow undamaged portions of the brain to take over functions controlled by damaged ones. It does this in response to repetition.

Therefore, the more you practice an action, the more you will reinforce those neural pathways. And the stronger those pathways are, the easier the activity will become.

This principle applies to every type of brain damage, even brain stem damage. There are several therapies you can take part in to engage neuroplasticity and recover function. We will discuss the most important ones in the sections below:

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Components Of The Brainstem

The Medulla Oblongata: Get To Know The Most Vital Part Of ...

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.

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What Does The Brain Stem Connect To

The cerebellum, under the cerebrum at the back of the brain, controls balance and complex actions like walking and talking. The brain stem connects the brain with the spinal cord. It controls hunger and thirst and some of the most basic body functions, such as body temperature, blood pressure, and breathing.

Similarly one may ask, what is the function of the brain stem?

The brain stem controls the flow of messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and it also controls basic body functions such as breathing, swallowing, heart rate, blood pressure, consciousness, and whether one is awake or sleepy. The brain stem consists of the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata.

Also Know, what are the 3 parts of the brainstem and their functions? Brainstem. The brainstem is the distal part of the brain that is made up of the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata. Each of the three components has its own unique structure and function. Together, they help to regulate breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and several other important functions.

Similarly, you may ask, how does the brain stem work with other systems?

. The brainstem has integrative functions being involved in cardiovascular system control, respiratory control, pain sensitivity control, alertness, awareness, and consciousness.

Where does the brain stem end?

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What Does The Medulla In The Brain Do

This small, cone-shaped structure is part of the brain stem, one of the four brain regions. It plays a role in many vital processes in your body, including breathing, digestion, and blood circulation.

So what does the medulla do, exactly?

For one, the medulla is home to your bodys respiratory center.

The respiratory center keeps track of the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood and adjusts them by increasing your breathing rate. Furthermore, the medulla also stimulates the nerves in the diaphragm to help generate normal breathing movements.

In addition to the respiratory center, the medulla is also home to the bodys cardiovascular center.

Thanks to the information obtained from baroreceptors in blood vessels, the medulla oblongata has the ability to regulate your blood pressure, blood acidity, and heart rate. In doing so, it also has the capacity to monitor and adjust the flow of blood to individual parts of the body.

Apart from these main functions, the medulla is also considered the center of vital functions in the brain.

These include reflexive actions like sneezing, coughing, swallowing and vomiting, as well as involuntary processes like digestion. The medulla also plays a part in motor control and is essential for body movement coordination, head and shoulder movement, and speech.

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The Cell Structure Of The Brain

The brain is made up of two types of cells: neurons and glial cells, also known as neuroglia or glia. The neuron is responsible for sending and receiving nerve impulses or signals. Glial cells are non-neuronal cells that provide support and nutrition, maintain homeostasis, form myelin and facilitate signal transmission in the nervous system. In the human brain, glial cells outnumber neurons by about 50 to one. Glial cells are the most common cells found in primary brain tumors.

When a person is diagnosed with a brain tumor, a biopsy may be done, in which tissue is removed from the tumor for identification purposes by a pathologist. Pathologists identify the type of cells that are present in this brain tissue, and brain tumors are named based on this association. The type of brain tumor and cells involved impact patient prognosis and treatment.

What Are The Functions Of The Main Regions Of The Brain

Medulla oblongata: vagus nerve level (preview) – Human Anatomy | Kenhub

Besides the cerebrum and the cerebellum, the human brain also includes the brain stem and the diencephalon.

The brain stem consists of two parts the medulla oblongata on the bottom and the pons on the top. Together, they are responsible for several vital functions including breathing, coronary health, and deep sleep regulation. In addition, the medulla is in charge of reflexive actions like coughing and sneezing.

The diencephalon is hidden underneath the cerebrum and is barely visible without taking a cross-section of the brain. This part of the brain gathers sensory information and then sends it to the cerebrum, where it is processed and interpreted. On top of it, the diencephalon is also in charge of endocrine function.

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Effects Of Brain Stem Damage

Fortunately, brain stem damage is rare.

Most brain stem injuries are a result of swelling from other brain injuries. Swelling can push the brain stem against the skull and cause damage.

You can also damage the brain stem if you suffer a diffuse axonal injury that tears the brain cells in the pons or medulla.

Brain stem injuries cause serious problems and require intensive treatment. Below are some of the most common effects of brain stem damage.

What Are The Different Parts Of The Brain

The brain can be divided into the cerebrum, brainstem, and cerebellum:

  • Cerebrum. The cerebrum is composed of the right and left hemispheres. Functions of the cerebrum include: initiation of movement, coordination of movement, temperature, touch, vision, hearing, speech and language, judgment, reasoning, problem solving, emotions, and learning.

  • Brainstem. The brainstem includes the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla. Functions of this area include: movement of the eyes and mouth, relaying sensory messages , hunger, respirations, consciousness, cardiac function, body temperature, involuntary muscle movements, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, and swallowing.

  • Cerebellum. The cerebellum is located at the back of the head. Its function is to coordinate voluntary muscle movements and to maintain posture, balance, and equilibrium.

More specifically, other parts of the brain include the following:

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Did You Remember To Breathe

Im sure you know that your heart is a pretty large structure: about the size of your fist. Your lungs are obviously even bigger in size. But did you know that the speed at which your heart beats and your lungs breathe are in large part controlled by areas of your brain sometimes as small as a thumbtack?

Amazing, isnt it? A tiny little area in your brain is what gives you the ability to breathe and enjoy life. These little areas are located in two important areas of your brain stem, known as the pons and medulla oblongata. Well also learn about their structure and function, including chemoreceptors, pH sensing, and breathing rate.

Not only do these areas control your heart and lungs, but they also monitor your blood pressure and the acidity of your blood in order to adjust your breathing rate automatically. Your brain essentially has autopilot zones, which allow you to focus on things, like studying for an exam, watching television, or texting a friend, without having to worry about remembering to breathe.

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What Will Happen If The Medulla Oblongata Is Damaged

Overview of a Stroke of the Medulla Oblongata

Whenever theyre performing brain surgery, doctors are extremely careful not to damage or otherwise injure themedulla oblongata. While injuries to most other parts of the brain including the cerebellum and the cerebrum can often be reversed, thats rarely the case with the medulla.

So by now, youre probably thinking, ok, good to know. But what if you did actually injure your medulla, what happens then?

The short answer is, It can be very bad or even fatal.

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Complications That Involve Medulla Oblongata:

Injury problems or disease of the lateral medulla can result in lateral medullary syndrome . In this syndrome, there is a damage of pain and temperature sensory experiences, which results in the affected person completely losing their pain and temperature senses.

If a section of the medulla is harmed, the body may be unable to relay a particular type of information or message between the body and its brain. These spinal tracts carry these kinds of data:

  • pain and sensory perception
  • proprioception
  • vibration interpretation
  • the tone of the muscles
  • pressure perception
  • the function of the eyes
  • a sensitive touch
  • conscious muscle control and coordination
  • balance

In the medulla, motor neurons pass from the left side of the brain to the right side of a persons spine. If somehow a person damages the left side of their medulla , they will lose motor function on their right side. Comparably, if the right side of the medulla is compromised, the left side of your body will suffer.

If the medulla is harmed, the spinal cord and brain will be unable to communicate more effectively.

Destruction of the medulla oblongata can result in:

  • breathing difficulties
  • hiccups that are difficult to control
  • sensation loss in the body parts, such as trunk, limbs or face

If the medulla is damaged as a result of a stroke, brain degenerative changes, or an abrupt head trauma/injury, a range of problems can arise. The symptoms that appear are determined by the specific part of the medulla that has been harmed.

Anatomy Of The Medulla Oblongata

The position of the medulla oblongata enables it to be the primary connection of the central nervous system to the peripheral nervous system as it is continuous with the spinal cord. The medulla oblongata and spinal cord merge at the opening located at the base of the skull, the foramen magnum. Within the medulla oblongata are both white matter and gray matter.

The nerves of the white matter are myelinated, meaning that they are covered in a myelin sheath made up of lipids and proteins. These are differentiated from the gray matter, since the gray matter is unmyelinated, having no protective sheath.

The function of this covering is to insulate the axons and enhances the conductivity of neuronal impulses traveling along the neurons and across synapses. However, despite the glamorous enhancements that are available for the white matter, the gray matter gets to serve as the physical connection of the brainstem to four cranial nerves.

What is special about this combination in the medulla oblongata is that the two come together to produce a part of the reticular formation, a network of nerve fibers that can be found in the pons. This network plays an integral role in the transmission of motor and sensory signals the ones in the medulla oblongata specifically are involved in controlling autonomic nervous system functions.

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Bontogeny Of Noradrenergic Innervation

The pons and the tegmental part of the medulla are the main regions where NE is synthesized. The main region of synthesis of noradrenergic neurons is the locus coeruleus, as this center possesses about half of the noradrenergic neurons of the brain. NE axonal arbors project upward from the pons and medulla into diverse regions including the cerebral cortex, hypothalamus, cerebellum, and caudally to the spinal cord.9

G.P. Singh, in, 2017

Increase Pixel Dimensions Of Mri Of Brain

Brain Stem Medulla

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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The Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator Device

The Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator is an authorized medical device in the United States. The PoNS device is indicated for use as a short term treatment of gait deficit due to mild-to-moderate symptoms from multiple sclerosis and is to be used as an adjunct to a supervised therapeutic exercise program in patients 22 years of age and over by prescription only.

PoNS is an authorized medical device commercially available in Canada intended for use as a short term treatment of gait deficit due to mild and moderate symptoms from MS and is to be used in conjunction with physical therapy. The device is also intended for use as a short term treatment of chronic balance deficit due to mild-to-moderate traumatic brain injury and is to be used in conjunction with physical therapy in Canada. In the US, PoNS is authorized and indicated for use as a short term treatment of gait deficit due to mild to moderate symptoms from multiple sclerosis and is to be used as an adjunct to a supervised therapeutic exercise program in patients 22 years of age and over by prescription only. PoNS is currently under review for market authorization by the AUS TGA PoNS is not commercially available in Australia or other markets.

What Are The Parts Of The Nervous System

The nervous system is made up of the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system:

  • The brain and the spinal cord are the central nervous system.
  • The nerves that go through the whole body make up the peripheral nervous system.

The human brain is incredibly compact, weighing just 3 pounds. It has many folds and grooves, though. These give it the added surface area needed for storing the body’s important information.

The spinal cord is a long bundle of nerve tissue about 18 inches long and 1/2-inch thick. It extends from the lower part of the brain down through spine. Along the way, nerves branch out to the entire body.

Both the brain and the spinal cord are protected by bone: the brain by the bones of the skull, and the spinal cord by a set of ring-shaped bones called vertebrae. They’re both cushioned by layers of membranes called meninges and a special fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid helps protect the nerve tissue, keep it healthy, and remove waste products.

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