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THALAMUS

Thalamus in Greek means “Ante chamber” or “Inner chamber“. It was discovered way back in the 2nd Century AD, when Galen traced the optic-nerve fibers to an oval mass closely associated with the ventricles.

It is considered as head ganglion of all sensory systems.It integrates & processes all sensory impulses. All sensory pathways (EXCEPTION – Olfactory pathway) that proceeds to the cortex first relays in the thalamus before reaching its destination.

THALAMIC NUCLEI

FUNCTIONAL CLASSIFICATION

NON-SPECIFIC N– RECEIVE IMPULSES FOR DIFFUSE SECONDARY RESPONSES FROM THE RETICULAR ACTIVATING SYSTEM & PROJECT DIFFUSELY TO NEOCORTEX. SPECIFIC NUCLEI – RECEIVE SPECIFIC SENSATION & PROJECT TO SPECIFIC PORTION OF NEOCORTEX & LIMBIC SYSTEM
DEPENDING UPON THE TYPE OF SENSATION, THE SPECIFIC PROJECTION NUCLEI CAN BE DIVIDED INTO 4 GROUPS

CONNECTIONS OF THALAMUS

Afferent & efferent connections of various thalamic nuclei is based on the functional classification:

SPECIFIC NUCLEI OF THALAMUS

  1. PRINCIPAL RELAY
PRINCIPAL RELAY

VENTRAL POSTERIOR NUCLEUS (VPN) It has 2 divisions : VPL( Ventro posterior Lateral) & VPM (Ventro Postero Medial) {sensory relay Nuclei}

MEDIAL GENICULATE BODY – Receive topically organised projection of auditory fibers. {sensory relay Nuclei}

LATERAL GENICULATE BODY – Show an orderly organized representation of the retina {sensory relay Nuclei} AFFERENT: OPTIC TRACT, SUPERIOR COLLICULUS EFFERENT : VISUAL CORTEX (17,18,19) FUNCTION : VISION

VENTRAL LATERAL NUCLEUS (VLN) : Chief motor nucleus of Thalamus . Acts as a relay centre for cerebellar impulses. {Motor Control Nuclei}

VLN OF THALAMUS

VENTRAL ANTERIOR NUCLEUS : Involved in the programming of movements controlled by the basal Ganglia. {Motor Control Nuclei}

VENTRAL ANTERIOR NUCLEUS

ANTERIOR NUCLEUS : Belongs to Papez Circuit of Limbic system. Concerned with recent memory & emotions {Visceral Efferent Control Nuclei}

ANTERIOR NUCLEUS OF THALAMUS

2. ASSOCIATION NUCLEUS

LATERAL NUCLEUS : AFFERENT : Parietal lobe of cortex, Sup colliculus, principal relay N. EFFERENT : Parietal association area (language), Cingulate Gyrus. FUNCTION : Language comprehension, speech, other integrated function

DORSOMEDIAL NUCLEUS: AFFERENT : Relay N, Hypothalamus, Amygdala, Pre-frontal Cortex, Olfactory information. EEFERENT : Pre-frontal Cortex (area- 8,9,10,11), Newer olfactory pathway to orbito-frontal cortex. FUNCTION : Processing of Crude somatic, visceral sensation, perception of olfaction, elaboration of thought, word formation.

PULVINAR : AFFERENT : Relay N, Parietal, Temporal, Occipital Cortex, Sup Colliculus. EFFERENT : Visual association area (lateral part) & Auditory association area (medial part) FUNCTION : Integration of visual, auditory & Somasthetic information.

NON-SPECIFIC THALAMIC NUCLEI

NON-SPECIFIC THALAMIC NUCLEI

FUNCTIONS OF THALAMUS

FUNCTIONS OF THALAMUS

THALAMIC SYNDROME

Dejerine (1906) – Described , Roussy (1907) – Named

Occlusion of Thalamo-geniculate branch Post cerebral artery damages VPL Nucleus (Sparing VPM Nucleus)

APPLIED

THALAMIC SYNDROME

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HYPOTHALAMUS

A diencephalic (bilateral) structure. It represents less than 1 % of the brain mass. Small in size but has two way communicating system with all levels of limbic system.

hypothalamic output

Subdivision & nuclei of Hypothalamus

CONNECTIONS

Hypothalamus is connected to several areas of brain to serve several functions autonomic , visceral etc. Apart from neural connection hypothalamus also acts by releasing secretion into blood stream, into CSF.

MAIN AFFERENT & EFFERENT CONNECTIONS OF HYPOTHALAMUS

FUNCTIONS OF HYPOTHALAMUS

FUNCTIONS OF HYPOTHALAMUS

RAGE

Strong stimulation of PUNISHMENT CENTRES results in this. It is kept in check by counterbalancing activity of VENTROMEDIAL N of hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala & ant portion of Limbic Cortex. Rage reaction is characterised by –

  • Development of defence posture
  • Extension of limbs
  • Lifting of tail
  • Hissing and splitting
  • Piloerection
  • Wide opening of eyes
  • Dilation of pupil
  • Severe savage attack, even on mild provocation

SHAM RAGE

Normally, animals & human beings maintain a balance between the rage & calm stage. this is maintained due to reciprocal connection between cerebral cortex & hypothalamus. if this connection is lost then animal exhibits outburst of rage — called SHAM RAGE. EMOTIONS associated are ABSENT.Sham rage is due to release of hypothalamus from Cortical control, and can be abolished by lesioning the caudal hypothalamus.

APPLIED ASPECTS

Lesions of Hypothalamus

  • Tumour
  • Inflammation (or encephalitis)
  • Ischaemia due to vascular disorder
  • Damage due to surgical operations in these area
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LIMBIC SYSTEM

LIMBIC –> Border/ Girdle. derived from limbus meaning RING.

Previously called Rhinencephalon due to its relation to olfaction.

Apart from Olfaction, it plays important roles in behaviour, emotion,motivational drives, memory as well as regulation of visceral functions –> Hence referred as –> VISCERAL BRAIN

Limbic system is not a separate structure. It refers to a ring of Fore brain structure that surrounds the basal region of cerebrum and brain-stem and their intercommunicated Neural Pathways. Limbic system is the link between brain-stem and neocortex. there is extensive to and fro connections among different structures.

FIRST IDENTIFIED BY PAUL BROCA, 1978

ANATOMY / COMPONENTS OF LIMBIC SYSTEM

LIMBIC SYSTEM

CONNECTIONS

Initially described by JAMES PAPEZ ( 1937) called PAPEZ CIRCUIT

PAPEZ CIRCUIT

This circuit was subsequently modified by – McLEAN (1955).

Extensive to and fro connections are found among various components. This circuit is responsible for resting EEG & for those emotions and aspects of behaviour that are related to preservation of the individual and species.

extended papez circuit

Characteristic features of LIMBIC SYSTEM CONNECTIONS are :

FUNCTIONS OF LIMBIC SYSTEM

FUNCTIONS OF LIMBIC SYSTEM

APPLIED

  • KLUVER – BUCY SYNDROME
  • KORSAKOFF PSYCHOSIS
  • ADDICTION
  • LEARNING
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Welcome to MBBS Memory Maps in Physiology

Concepts are the keystones in the architecture of our thinking.

-Paul Hughes

Let’s create road-maps for concepts.

WISDOM IS NOT A PRODUCT OF SCHOOLING BUT OF THE LIFELONG ATTEMPT TO ACQUIRE IT. –Albert Einstein

Hey there!

Let’s just say that studying can be fun too. Preparing concept map has been my thing always. So, now I am here to share my view and maps on physiology/medical topics with the world out there.

A Physiology Professor by profession I have seen students struggling with the basic concepts of the subject and almost everyone scrambling for notes (self-made, borrowed from seniors or copied from a fellow classmate). But I have found that more than so called ‘notes’, you need a clear concept – hence the concept maps.

WHAT IS A CONCEPT MAP?

It is basically a conceptual diagram that suggests or compiles a knowledge or information in form of a arrow diagram or a flow chart. In other words it explains and organizes a complex information in an easy to comprehend diagram or chart. A very useful and organized way to understand, acquire & memorize concepts.

ADVANTAGES OF CONCEPT MAPS –

  1. Simplifies understanding of an complex phenomenon/ subject.
  2. helps in quicker learning. You can finish a bigger chapter in lesser time.
  3. easy to remember and reproduce in exams.
  4. creates memory maps(with less confusions of course!!)

So, see you all later in my subsequent posts where I will share my ‘concept-maps’ mostly related to Physiology, medicine & maybe everything else in due course of time. keep me posted on your view on the same.

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DESCENDING MOTOR PATHWAYS / DESCENDING TRACTS

Connect the neurons in,

cerebral cortex , Midbrain, Pons, Medulla & Cerebellum

with

motor neurons (LMN) at various levels.

Axons of UMN synapse on spinal : Alpha motor neuron,gamma motor neuron, Spinal interneuron, Sensory afferents

TRADITIONALLY TRACTS ARE CLASSIFIED AS:


RECENT CLASSIFICATION : Hans Kupyres – 1981,85.

CORTICOSPINAL TRACT / PYRAMIDAL TRACT

Most important and largest descending tract.

Axons of Cortical neurons descend, form Pyramids in Medulla –> to Spinal Cord (Corticospinal tract)

Some terminate in :

  • Brain Stem Reticular formation
  • Cranial N Nuclei (V, VII,XII, Corticobulbar Tract) except those supplying to External eye muscle

Phylogenetically newest, only in mammals. (No of fibers have progressively increased from monkeys –> Apes –> Man.

1 million fibers (approx.) in human, >90% – small diameter & unmyelinated (SLOW CONDUCTING PATHWAY)

Myelination starts in neonate on 10th – 14th day and completes in 2 years.

NEUROTRANSMITTERS : GLUTAMATE, ASPARTATE.

FUNCTION

  1. Fine, skillful voluntary movement of Distal limb parts (LCST)
  2. Postural stability of Axial & proximal muscle.
  3. influence on stress reflexes.
  4. Facilitatory (++) –> alpha & gamma where it ends directly. Inhibitory (–) –> via Interneurons
  5. Efferent limb of superficial reflexes (e.g, abdominal, plantar etc)
  6. Opposite side lower part of face and hypoglossal (Corticobulbar tract)
  7. useful in sensori-motor coordination.
  8. Path of transcortical load compensation mechanism (Increased load –> Increased muscle contraction mediated by Cortex)

LESION

MOTOR DEFICITS OCCUR DUE TO DESCENDING TRACTS. PURE Pyramidal tract lesions are rare.

ACUTE Lesion (Stage of shock)–> Paralysis of opposite half, No reflexes, Emotions are intact. Lasts for 2-3 weeks. (Symptoms include lesions of both PT+ EPT )

CHRONIC Lesion (Stage of recovery) :

EXTRAPYRAMIDAL TRACT

  • Outside Pyramidal tract
  • Multineuronal motor system with number of synapses involving many regions of brain.
  • All from cortex & subcortical (brainstem) areas other than those in Pyramidal tract.

FUNCTIONS OF EXTRAPYRAMIDAL TRACT

  • Regulation of Posture, Equillibrium, Muscle tone
  • Coordinated, synchronized movement of head, eye, neck etc
  • Provide platform for Pyramidal system to operate fine, skilled movement.
EXTRAPYRAMIDAL TRACTS

LESIONS IN EXTRAPYRAMIDAL TRACTS:

  • MUSCLE TONE – Increased (upper limb – Flexion, Lower limb – Extension)
  • ABNORMAL POSTURE
  • INVOLUNTARY MOVEMENT – tremor
  • LOSS OF RIGHTING/POSTURAL REFLEXES
  • DEEP REFLEXES – exaggerated, clonus may appear
  • CLASP KNIFE RIGIDITY (Lengthening reaction) present
  • PLANTAR REFLEX – Normal/extensor.
Featured

Welcome to MBBS Memory Maps in Physiology

Concepts are the keystones in the architecture of our thinking.

-Paul Hughes

Let’s create road-maps for concepts.

WISDOM IS NOT A PRODUCT OF SCHOOLING BUT OF THE LIFELONG ATTEMPT TO ACQUIRE IT. –Albert Einstein

Hey there!

Let’s just say that studying can be fun too. Preparing concept map has been my thing always. So, now I am here to share my view and maps on physiology/medical topics with the world out there.

A Physiology Professor by profession I have seen students struggling with the basic concepts of the subject and almost everyone scrambling for notes (self-made, borrowed from seniors or copied from a fellow classmate). But I have found that more than so called ‘notes’, you need a clear concept – hence the concept maps.

WHAT IS A CONCEPT MAP?

It is basically a conceptual diagram that suggests or compiles a knowledge or information in form of a arrow diagram or a flow chart. In other words it explains and organizes a complex information in an easy to comprehend diagram or chart. A very useful and organized way to understand, acquire & memorize concepts.

ADVANTAGES OF CONCEPT MAPS –

  1. Simplifies understanding of an complex phenomenon/ subject.
  2. helps in quicker learning. You can finish a bigger chapter in lesser time.
  3. easy to remember and reproduce in exams.
  4. creates memory maps(with less confusions of course!!)

So, see you all later in my subsequent posts where I will share my ‘concept-maps’ mostly related to Physiology, medicine & maybe everything else in due course of time. keep me posted on your view on the same.

MOTOR CORTEX


PRIMARY MOTOR CORTEX

  • Largest of all motor areas
  • Lies in the precentral Gyrus –> Area 4 of Brodmann extending from medial surface to lateral sulcus.
  • low electrical –> Specific & repeatable movement.
  • HOMONCULUS (little man) –> Drawn by Penfield & Rasmussen 1950.
    • Body is upside down
    • legs most medially
    • pharynx lateral most.
    • SIZE OF REPRESENTATION – More for body parts for fine & skilled movement (Thumb, Fingers, Face, Pharynx, Vocal cords etc), Less for trunk muscles.
  • Lacks LAYER 4 (Granules). So, called AGRANULAR CORTEX.
  • Cells are arranged in Columns –> cells from several columns project to same muscles.
  • about 30% of Corticospinal Tract fibers take origin
  • provide most refined degree of motor control
  • Areas enlarge with practice & learning —- CORTICAL PLASTICITY
  • LESION — Paresis/paralysis of opposite side
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SUPPLEMENTARY MOTOR AREA

  • Medial portion of Area 6 (Anterior & Medial to M1, largely on medial surface of hemisphere)
  • High electrical stimulation–> Head & Eye movement, vocalization & complex postural movement.
  • Somatotopic arrangement like M1 —Face, Anterior. Legs, Posterior.
  • Bilaterally connected through Corpus callosum
  • Subdivided into 2 areas
  • FUNCTION :
    • Planning & integration of complex (fixations)attitudinal movements.
    • more active in bi-manual tasks
    • learning of skilled acts.
  • LESION –> Transient speech deficit (Aphasia) — typically disappears after several weeks. Slowness in generating repetitive movement. Retards the movement of opposite limb.

PRE-MOTOR AREA (PMC)

  • High stimulation – Proximal musculature
  • minor contribution to Cortico-spinal Tract.
  • Major contribution to Extrapyramidal Tracts.
  • FUNCTIONS:
    • Responsible for patterning & posturing
  • LESION:
    • Weakness of opposite shoulder/ hip muscle
    • limb movement slower
    • Inability in simultaneous coordinated movement of both limbs
  • 2 Subdivisions : DORSAL & VENTRAL

CINGULATE MOTOR AREA (CMA) within Cingulate Sulcus

CMA- r –> Rostral

CMA – d –> Dorsal

CMA – v –> Ventral

3 CMA, each with somatotopic map, contribute to CST. High stimulation similar to motor cortex stimulation.

  • FUNCTION :Preparation & execution of movement.

OTHER IMPORTANT AREAS

  • FRONTAL EYE FIELD — Controls eye movement
  • POSTERIOR PARIETAL CORTEX — (5,7)
    • Lesion : No motor weakness, but sensory & motor neglect in opposite hemifield —> AMORPHOSYNTHESIS
  • BROCA’S AREA — Motor speech area, Area 44.
    • Lesion : Motor aphasia
  • SUPPRESSOR AREAS (4s, 2s, 8s, 19s, 24s) — Inhibition of strech reflex


HISTOLOGICAL STRUCTURE OF MOTOR CORTEX

3 Types of cells are present – 1. PYRAMIDAL CELLS 2.STELLATE/GRANULE CELL 3. FUSIFORM CELLS

6 layers or laminae are present–>

  • most afferent fibers from the specific nuclei of thalamus make synapses in the laminae I to VI
  • Afferent projections from non-specific thalamic nuclei & from ascendind reticular system terminate in al laminae of cortex
  • Laminae II & IV are concerned with sensorial modalities.
  • Laminae III to V are meant for somatomotor or visceromotor activities.
  • Laminae I to VI are engaged for integration of association of sensorimotor behaviour.

ORGANISATION OF MOTOR SYSTEM

NEURAL CONTROL OF MOVEMENT

Movement is crucial to all organisms. its performed in higher animals by contraction of & relaxation of the muscles.

Motor system exists in Brain to translate out thought, sensation, emotion & feeling into MOVEMENT.

SENSORY SYSTEM –> transforms physical energy into neural signals

MOTOR SYSTEM –> NEURAL signal is converted to contractile force of muscle and hence converted into MOVEMENT.

SENSORY REPRESENTATION FORM FRAMEWORK IN WHICH –

  1. motor system plans, coordinates & executes.
  2. motor system programmes a purposeful movement
  3. it a highly complicated & integrated system.
  4. ability of human beings to carry out skilled movement while still performing cognitive tasks requires flexibility, integration & skills that no other organism /animal has.

TYPES OF MOVEMENT

ORGANISATION OF MOTOR SYSTEM

  1. IDEA – Posterior Parietal cortex, Association areas
  2. PLANNING – Premotor , Supplementary motor Cortex, Thalamus, Basal Ganglia
  3. PROGRAMMING – Cortex, Basal Ganglia
  4. MOTOR COMMAND – Cortex – {Spinal cord, brain stem } –> via descending tracts
  5. EXECUTION – Spinal cord –> via –> Final common path
  6. ACTION –> contraction of muscle, joint movement
  7. COMPARISON, COORDINATION –> Cerebellum, Thalamus, Sensory pathway

All voluntary activity involves activity of CEREBRAL CORTEX.

ROLE OF DIFFERENT PARTS OF BRAIN IN MOTOR CONTROL :

  1. CORTICAL MOTOR AREA
    • Highest level of motor control
    • 3 criteria :
      • stimulation using low current strength elicits movements
      • destruction of area results in loss of motor function
      • area has output connection directly(or with minimal or intermediate connections) to brainstem or spinal cord.
    • 2 groups : Primary motor Cortex & Secondary motor cortex.
  2. POST PARIETAL CORTEX
  3. FRONTAL EYE FIELD
  4. BROCA’S AREA
  5. SUPPRESSOR AREAS (4s, 2s, 8s, 19s & 24s)