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Brainstem and Subcortical Structures I.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Bruce Mc Kay

Brainstem and Subcortical Structures I/II The brainstem  Thoracic spinal cord  Cervical Spinal Cord o Corticospinal tract  convey motor information out  Some parts control limbs and some control trunk muscles  Medulla (Caudal) o Wherever the line is on the brain stem is where we are looking at o Medial lemniscuses all the way through o Corticospinal tract = pyramid  Conveys motor information o A lot of structures named by early o Have a lot of nuclei that correspond to cranial nerves o Hypoglossal controls the tongue  Parts of the facial nerves are also included in this area o All of these areas are connected to descending nerves from the cranial motor cortex o The central canal is where the autonomic nerves, parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves originate from these small nerves  the central canal will go on to become all of the ventricles (fluid filled cavities) in the brain. The area where the fluid from the ventricles travel o Touch originates from the dorsal nerves, when they arise up to the medulla to undergo synapse and cross-over where it then continues into the thalamus  Medulla (Rostral)  Higher level of the medulla o New structures at this level that are not at the early caudal level are:  Medial longitudinal fasciculus (MLF)  Provides axonal connects between all three of the optic nerves  Lateral recti gets pulled one way causes the medial recti to pull the other eye the same way, allowing for smooth movements of the eyes  Some individuals have the ability to control both of the eyes individually  Reticular formation  Lots of fibers crossing-over, lots of things going on.  Spinal Reticular Formation recall: to arouse the entire brain to be aware of the pain, controls the level of consciousness of the pain by the brain  Big role in sleep/awake transitions  Typical disorders associated with damage to the medulla o This particular dpart of the brain is really susceptible to pressure pushed on the brain causing squeezing of parts of the brain out of the skull  Has a lot of receptors for different types of drugs  It cannot work with high levels of drugs in the system o Baring death:  Depending on the severity will lose very severe functions  Able to lose:  Gag reflex  Sensory input  Motor input o Learning how to snipe the medulla is an effective way of assassination.  If you shoot someone in the medulla, they lose all muscle control and extend their arms, legs, and hands. The flexer muscles will contract more than the contractile muscles.  Pons o A bridge structure o Everything here is sensory information going up and motor information going down o Still have medial lemniscus, still have reticular formation, pain and temperature sensory system o Has the locus coeruleus which has a blue ting to it, a substance in it that provides this colouration  Noticeably blue  Has a role in sending fibers throughout the rest of the brain providing adrenaline, much like the reticular formation is involved in fight or flight  Wakes up the brain  Looking at using a turning on and off of this area in soliders to substitute for the amphetamines o Disorders associated with damage to the pons  Possible etiologies   Outcomes (depends on site and severity)  “Locked-in” syndrome  you are fully alert but cannot move anything but your eyes  Completely conscious, they cannot feel any physical pain  Midbrain  the middle of the brain stem, the part of the brainstem where the spinal cord and the brain bend to create the 90 degree angle associated with the oriented posture of the brain o New and interesting structures showing up:  Two big dopamine sites  VTA (ventral tegmental area)  Susbstantia nigra  controls the movement  Heavily disrupted in Parkinson’s disease, can se
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