Medicine

Diencephalon

The diencephalon is a part of the brain that includes the thalamus and hypothalamus. It is the link between the nervous system and the endocrine system. The diencephalon receives signals from the nervous system and interprets the signals, then the pituitary gland, which largely controls the endocrine system, responds by excreting hormones.

What is the diencephalon?

It is a structure of great importance that is located in the internal part of the cerebral hemispheres and is formed by the thalamus, hypothalamus, subthalamus and epithalamus and is responsible for transmitting sensory information.

The diencephalon is one of the three main parts of the anterior brain, the other two being the telencephalon and the hypothalamus. It is continuous with the midbrain and hypothalamus.

Characteristics of the diencephalon

The main characteristics of the diencephalon are as follows:

Location of the diencephalon

The diencephalon is located below the corpus callosum and the fornix, joining on the sides with the hemispheres of the telencephalon. Two main portions are distinguished in it: a phylogenetically younger dorsal, the thalamus brain, and another ventral, phylogenetically older, the hypothalamus, which is a superior vegetative center.

Limits

The diencephalon has the following limits:

Parts

The main parts of the diencephalon include the hypothalamus, thalamus, epithalamus along with the pineal gland and subthalamus:

Also inside the diencephalon is the third ventricle, one of the four ventricles or cavities of the brain that are filled with cerebrospinal fluid.

Function

The function of the diencephalon is to relay sensory information between brain regions and is responsible for controlling many autonomous functions of the peripheral nervous system. It also connects the structures of the endocrine system with the nervous system and works with the structures of the limbic system to generate and manage emotions and memories.

Several structures of the diencephalon work together and also with other parts of the body to participate in the following bodily functions:

Diseases and injuries of the diencephalon

The most common diseases of the diencephalon are:

The lesions usually occur as a consequence of thrombosis or bleeding in the arteries that irrigate it. An injury can cause a significant deterioration of sensations on the side of the body opposite to where the injury occurs. There may be tactile discrimination and a loss of appreciation of movements in the joints.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.
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