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Living With Damage To The Hypothalamus

1514 words - 6 pages

Living with Damage to the Hypothalamus

Living with some-one who has a tumor or lesion; caused
by an accidental trauma to the head, a stroke or a penetrating
projectile, ect., can affect many aspects of normal life. Damage
to the hypothalamus can produce many different problems in the
body. According to James Kalat; the hypothalamus is a small area
near the base of the brain just ventral to the thalamus. It has
wide spread connections with the rest of the forebrain and the
midbrain. The hypothalamus contains a number of distinct nuclei.
Partly through nerves and partly through hypothalamic hormones,
the hypothalamus conveys message to pituitary gland, altering
its release of hormones. Damage to a hypothalamic nucleus leads
to abnormalities in one or more motivated behaviors, such as
feeding, drinking, temperature regulation, sexual behavior,
fighting, or activity level (Kalat, 2004). Some of the most
predominant diseases that affect the family and the home life
are; neurophysical diseases, adenohypophysical diseases, and
other hypothalamic syndromes. The most common neurophysical
diseases affected by damage to the hypothalamus are: Diabetes
Insipidus, (SIADH) Syndrome of Inappropriate ADH Secretion and
Cerebral Salt Wasting. Adenohypophysical diseases include:
Panhypopituitarism (Simmonds Disease), abnormalities in growth
and Cushing Disease and Cushing Syndrome. Other Hypothalamic
syndromes that would affect family life include:

Precocious Puberty,
Adiposogenital Dystrophy (Froelich Syndrome), disturbances in
regulation of temperature, appetite and sleep, lastly the Pineal
Gland and Melatonin (Bostrom, 2003).

The Hypothalamus serves as the “head ganglion” of both the
autonomic nervous system and endocrine system. The two are
closely integrated and abundantly connected to the entire limbic
brain. The hypothalamic nucleus, by releasing specific neuro-
transmitter peptides, controls the activities of the secretory
cells of the anterior lobe of the pituitary body. Hormones
released or secreted by cells of the supraoptic and
paraventricular nuclei are transported, in the form of granules,
to the posterior lobe of the pituitary; from there they are
absorbed into the blood stream (Engel, 1997).Under conditions
of disease, the neurotransmitter peptides may be quantitatively
increased, decreased, or in some way made defective; the neurons
that synthesize these peptides or their glandular targets may
fail to function or become over active(Ropper, 2002).

The nuclei of the hypothalamus are conventionally divided
into three paired groups: the anterior group, including the
preoptic, supraoptic, and paraventriular nuclei, which are
mainly neurohypophysical in their relationships; the middle
group, including the tuberal, arcuate, ventrolatural, and dorsal
nuclei; and the posterior group including the mammillary and posterior
nuclei (Ropper, 2002).The...

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