Finally we are getting past the ground rules of learning to walk Pavlov’s dogs and begin to see what that walking of Pavlov’s dogs might look like. In this discussion we will be looking at the Hypothalamus. This is one of the most important parts of the human brain as it relates to aromatherapy. Well, that can be argued, but in reality all parts of the brain are important when it comes to aromatherapy. But since we are talking about the brain and aromatherapy. At least in part, and the role the Hypothalamus plays with Hormones, well, maybe it is kind of like the saying goes, “Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others”. That might be the best way to describe the Hypothalamus in relation to other parts of the brain. I feel like this part of the brain is really influential because of the role hormones play in our actions.
The Hypothalamus is divided into 3 main parts, namely, the Anterior, the Middle and the Posterior. Each one of these parts are divided up into several parts and each part plays a specific role or responsible for some action potential. Many of these parts have what you might refer to as a fail safe action and if one part doesn’t perform, then another part will perform a very similar action. I will mention those as we go. Plus I will make some comments on some of these.
Anterior; With this part we have 7 different areas. 1st. Is the Preoptic Nucleus. This is the one part that is responsible for Thermoregulation. This is the ability to regulate your body temperature and keep it within a certain range no matter the external stimuli, or for that matter the internal as well, no matter what stimuli might have the potential to alter that balance. I am referring to drinking something hot or cold.as an example.
The 2nd. One is the Medial Preoptic Nucleus. This part regulates a lot of different hormones. The short description of this part can be summed up in a few words, sexual behavior. This is the part of the deal that contains the Sexually Dimorphic Nuceus. In studies that have been done with this densely packed cluster of cells, the males of mammals, humans included here, are about 2 times as large as what is found in females. Of course this cluster of cells gets much smaller with age. Females start dropping off cells at an early age but really have a sharp drop off once they get up into their 70’s. Men will usually hold things together until they hit about 50 and from there, in most cases, really start dropping off after that. I think that might explain a lot with those of you that are a little older. This part also should be noted. Males will go through 2 stages here, the appetitive which involves attraction and courting. Then the consummation phase, need any more be said there? In studies that have been done on animals, it has been observed that showed male animals attractions, the heterosexual ones had a SDN of at least 2 times the size as the ones that displayed homosexual behaviors. This pattern was consistent in both phases. In more experienced (sexually) males, if the SDN is damaged, then attraction to the same gender is observed. Now when it comes to the behaviors in females, well, throw it all out the windows. With females, there is kind of a reflective part of the male aspect, but that is all centered around the INAH part of the brain. Anyway, I just wanted to touch on that part for perspective. In real simple terms, based on the observations of various researchers they have pretty much concluded that homosexual males have a female Hypothalamus and the MPN part is at the center of those conclusions. It has been noted that female attraction to females has not been studied enough to come to any real conclusions in this aspect. This might give some of you some perspective on this whole related deal.
The 3rd. Part is the Supraoptic nucleus. Here we have the Vasopressin release. This has everything to do with releasing certain hormones that regulate the reabsorption of water back into the body system from the kidney’s. Also here are some hormones that regulate arterial blood pressure. So what happens when they put you on blood pressure meds? It basically stops this re-absorption of water and people will end up peeing their brains out, well, not actually their brains,but as a friend of mine said to be, these pills made him piss like a racehorse. Not sure how much a racehorse pees, but it must be a lot. We also have an Oxytocin release being run from this part. It plays a role in everything related to child birth, which includes the social bonding and all other care related to this part of the reproduction process.
Then we have the 4th. Part called the Paraventricular Nucleus. This part is where the whole Thyroid regulation takes place in respect to tying into the Endocrine system. It also serves as a backup system or a fail-safe system to part #3. Another part worth noting with this section is that it involves Somatostatin release. This has everything to do with inhibitory actions. Basically it is a fail-safe, safety valve so to speak with several parts of the body. It is usually triggered by a low pH and it has a safety check and that is the vagus nerve. The bottom line here is that this hormone plays a big role in Diabetes in addition to being a major balancing hormone for several systems.
Part #5 of this section of the Hypothalamus. The Anterior Hypothalamic Nucleus With this part is more or less a fail-safe section that deals a lot with the TSH stuff, but basically a balancing secretion that can be labelled an inhibitory action. It also has a lot to do with the Thermoregulation of the body and controls actions related to that such as sweating and panting. This is a very complicated operation as different species are affected differently by how they carry out these actions.
Part #6 of this section is the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. This is a major player in our daily function, so to speak. This regulates the Circadian Rhythm. This controls the whole 24 hour function of our life. It is all about the sleep cycle, wake cycle and other cycles.All life forms have this cycle, even plants do as well. The cycle can be retained, and adjusted.
Part #7 of this section is the Lateral Nucleus. This part has its fingers in every function of this section of this part of the brain. Basically, in simple terms, it rides herd over all other parts of this section of the brain. There is a particular item here that really has to do with Orexin, which is related to a discussion on gastro-intestinal disorders, visceral hypersensitivity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Eating Disorders, etc. Here we find the regulation of arousal, appetite and wakefulness. Basically many things related to the mid body section of the body.
One of the interesting things that you will notice as we move into and discuss the other 2 major parts and their corresponding divisions is that you will find yourself saying, "Hey I thought we talked about a previous part having a governing role, a management role, etc., in this action". If you find yourself saying this, then you are correct. The deal here is that overlapping role, fail-safe, backup system that is built into this hormone potential action mechanisms of the Hypothalamus. This is a good thing.
Anyway, we need to end this discussion on this part. I didn’t expect it to take up this much time and print space. So we will do this discussion in 3 parts, as this is the first part. Hope this helps you to understand this whole deal.
End of Discussion. KK