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Describe The Functions Of The Brainstem

Referencing Styles : APA | Pages : 1

The baseline of the human brain consists of a part similar to stems which is found to be connected with the spinal cord. The brain stems functions by controlling the flow or transfer of the messages and signals in between the human brain and other parts of the body. It also has a role in controlling the general functions of the body such as swallowing, breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, the state of consciousness and also it regulates the condition of sleepy and awake in individual. There are three portions which all together develops the brain stem, which are the mid brain, the pons and the medulla oblongata. The sensory and the motor neurons are found travelling over the brain stem permitting the transfer and exchange of the signals among the brain and the spinal cord.

The brain stems are mainly found to be consisting the cranial nerves. The motor control signals that are transferred from the brain to all over the body is being controlled by the brain stem. Brain stem has also a major role in controlling the peripheral nervous system’s life associate automatic functions. The brainstem has another essential role in managing the cardiac as well as the respiratory function of the body. The central nervous system is also regulated by the brain stems, also, it is essential in sustaining the body’s conscious state and also maintaining the sleep cycle of an individual. The brainstem is found to be the storage of several of the control centres which are essential for the vital body activities and functions which includes the regular activities such as the breathing, swallowing, and control of the vasomotor. Every single part of the cranial nerve nuclei only excluding those nerves which are related to the vision and olfaction, are found to be located in the regions of the brainstem, which are function by providing sensory and motor function for structuring of the cranium. It has a role by including the tongue, facial muscles, pharynx, as well as the larynx, and they also are seen to be supplying the equilibrium, senses of taste and hearing. The brain stem also consists of a nuclei which is important for the functioning of the sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic activities. All the total number of efferent and afferent pathways which are in between the region of the cerebrum and cerebellum passes through the brain stem. It is also known that several type of the pathways decussate or travel via this structure.

The medulla oblongata also known as the myelencephalon is stated to be the lower half portion of the brainstem which is continuous with a connection to the spinal cord. The upper portion of the medulla oblongata is found to be continuous with the connection to the pons. The medulla oblongata is consisting of the respiratory, cardiac, vasomotor and vomiting which centres by the regulation of the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing.

Then comes the midbrain which is also known as the mesencephalon and it is related to the ability of hearing, vision, sleep motor control, and wake cycles, also with the association of temperature regulation and alertness.

The third and the last part is known as the pons or the portion of the metencephalon which is found to be placed in between the midbrain and the medulla oblongata. It is consisting of the tracts which functions by carrying the signals towards the medulla from the cerebrum and also to the cerebellum. It also consists of the tracts which is stated to carry sensory signals towards the thalamus.

There are several neurons inside the brain stem which is found to project towards the forebrain ability to control restlessness and siesta.  During the middle of the year 1930s, scientist Frederic Bremer discovered that the transection of the brain stem of a cat at the position of the midbrain level has the ability to develop an incessant state of sleepiness, also when the transaction is done and the medulla is separated from the connection of the spinal cord, the state od sleepiness was not obtained

There are several of basic functions of the brainstem which includes the regulation of the heart beat rate, sleeping, breathing, and eating. It has also an important part in the conduction process. Each and every signal and information transmitted throughout the body towards the cerebrum and the cerebellum and from there to other body parts needs to pass through the brain stem. The pathways rising towards the brain from the body are said to be the sensory pathways which includes the spinothalamic tract involved for pain and the temperature sensation factor as well as the dorsal column, for touch, the fasciculus gracilis, and cuneatus are involved, pressure sensation and proprioception. The facial sensations are seen to have the similar kind of pathways and they also travel through the medial lemniscus and the spinothalamic tract.  

The Descending tracts are said to be the upper motor neurons which have been intended to synapse on the lower motor neurons in the portion of the ventral horn and also in the intermediate horn related to the body’s spinal cord. It has also observed that the, upper motor neurons are generated from the vestibular of the brain stem, which is the red, reticular and tectal nuclei, and they are also found to incline and synapse towards the spinal cord. It has also been known that the brainstem also has a major integrative purposes which also includes the control of the cardiovascular system, control of the respiratory, pain sensitivity controlling ability, attentiveness, consciousness, and cognizance in an individual.


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