Brain Stem

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Brain Stem

Post by HSowalla » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:12 pm

Brain stem

The brain stem is the stem-like part of the base of the brain that is connected to the spinal cord.

The brain stem controls the flow of messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and it also controls basic body functions such as breathing, swallowing, heart rate, blood pressure, consciousness, and whether one is awake or

Brain stem
• Midbrain
• Pons
• Medulla Oblongata


The midbrain, also called the mesencephalon, is a small region of the brain that serves as a relay center for visual, auditory, and motor system information.

It regulates autonomic functions, those that the body carries out without conscious thought, such as digestion, heart rate, and breathing rate.


A major structure in the upper part of the brain stem is called the pons. The pons has two over-arching roles. The first is the regulation of breathing. In the pons, there is a structure called the pneumotaxic center. It controls the amount of air breathed and breaths per minute, which is known as the breathing rate.

In addition, the pons is involved in the transmission of signals to and from other structures in the brain, such as the cerebrum or the cerebellum. The pons is also involved in sensations such as hearing, taste, and balance. Finally, the pons is also involved in the regulation of deep sleep.

Medulla Oblongata

The medulla oblongata is located in the lower portion of the brainstem. It is very important in things like heart rate and blood pressure. It's responsible for many reflexes in the body, or involuntarily controls, such as vomiting, sneezing, and coughing.

A brain stem lesion can result in death, since the damaged brain stem can no longer control the body’s vital functions.

Involuntary Functions

- Breathing
- Heart Rate
- Swallowing
- Reflexes to seeing and hearing

•Startle Response
- Autonomic Nervous System
• Sweating
• Blood Pressure
• Digestion
• Temperature
- Affects level of alertness
- Ability to sleep
- Vestibular Function
• Sense of balance

Observed Problems

- Decreased vital capacity in breathing, important for speech.
- Difficulty with organization/perception of the environment.
- Balance
- Movement
- Dizziness
• Vertigo
• Nausea
- Sleeping difficulties
• Insomnia
• Sleep Apnea
Heather Sowalla

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness."

Preventative Treatment: Imuran (250mg) + Rituxan (2 Full Doses Every 3 Months)

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