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Functions of Hypothalamus – Mnemonic [waseem’s TB]

Introduction:

Hypothalamus is a very small, but extremely important part of the diencephalon (fore-brain) which is basically responsible for controlling our endocrine functions through different hormones. It is also responsible for our autonomic functions and sexual behaviors.

Functions of Hypothalamus

  1. Control of Water balance:
    It controls the water balance through Anti-Diuretic Hormone secreted by supraoptic nucleus & by creating the sensations of thirst when body fluid osmolality increases.
  2. Control of Autonomic functions:
    It has a center for control of sympathetic (fight or flight response) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) functions.
  3. Control of Sexual functions:
    It controls the sexual functions through secretion of gonadotrophin releasing hormone i.e. LHRH (Luteinizing Hormone-Releasing Hormone).
  4. Control of Endocrine functions:
    It controls the endocrine functions through hypothalamic releasing hormones or inhibitory hormones and factors.
  5. Control of Emotions:
    It has a center for integrations of complex autonomic and somatic reactions in emotional state.
  6. Control of Metabolism:
    It controls the metabolism by controlling the intake of food through feeding center and satiety center.
  7. Control of Sleep:
    It controls the sleep as the sleep center is present in Anterior Nucleus and waking center is present in Posterior Nucleus.
  8. Control of Temperature:
    It controls the body temperature by heat-loss center which is present in Anterior Nucleus and heat-gain center which is present in Posterior Nucleus.
  9. Control of Body weight:
    It controls body weight through:
    a) Feeding center present in Lateral Hypothalamic Nucleus which increases the food intake.
    b) Satiety center present in Ventro-medial Hypothalamic Nucleus which decreases the food intake.

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