Preoptic area

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The preoptic area is sensitive to androgens and estrogens, whereas other areas influence the production of sex hormones through their regulation of the anterior pituitary. Before puberty, hypothalamic lesions here may arrest sexual development.

After puberty, hypothalamic lesions in this area may result in amenorrhea or impotence.

After puberty, hypothalamic lesions in this area may result in amenorrhea or impotence.

Chapter Summary

The diencephalon is divided into four parts: thalamus, hypothalamus, epithalamus, and the subthalamic.

The thalamus is the major sensory relay for many sensory systems. The long tracks of spinal cord and the trigeminal system synapse in the ventral posterolateral (VPL) and ventral posteromedial (VPM) nuclei, respectively. Auditory input is to the medial geniculate body, and the visual input is to the lateral geniculate body. Motor projections from the basal ganglia and cerebellum synapse in the ventral anterior and ventral lateral nuclei.

The hypothalamus contains nuclei that have fiber connections with many areas of the nervous system, including the pituitary gland in the anterior and tuberal regions of the hypothalamus. Other areas control eating, drinking, body temperature, and provide connections with the limbic system.

The epithalamus consists mainly of the pineal gland, which plays a major role in the regulation of arcadian rhythms.

The subthalamic projections are important circuits related to the basal ganglia.

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