Healthy Living

Medulla Oblongata

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What is the Medulla Oblongata?

At the bottom of the brain stem, the medulla oblongata controls many automatic processes, such as breathing and heart rate. It also produces reflexive activities like sneezing, vomiting and coughing.

The adrenal medulla contains cells that produce, store and release epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine into the bloodstream. Epinephrine increases heart rate, blood pressure, and gastrointestinal constriction; norepinephrine inhibits these functions.

Medulla oblongata

The medullary oblongata is part of your brainstem, a collection of parts that connect your brain with your spinal cord. It is an important part of your nervous system because it controls many of the most vital functions in your body, such as heart rate and breathing.

It also controls automatic processes that your body does without you thinking about them, such as coughing, sneezing or swallowing.

Your medulla oblongata is a tube-shaped structure that’s about 1.1 inches (3 centimeters) long and widest at its top, where it connects to your pons.

This part of your brain is surrounded by the cranial nerves, which are bundles of nerves that come from the upper and lower parts of your body and travel directly to your brain. It’s connected to other areas of your brain, including the hippocampus and the limbic system.

There are two main parts to the medulla: ventral and tegmental. The tegmental part is formed from the bottom part of your 4th ventricle, and it contains grey matter surrounded by white matter.

A number of cranial nerves converge at your spine, and four of these connect directly to the medulla oblongata. These include the 9-12th cranial nerves that go to your throat, tongue and jaw.

The medulla oblongata includes an area called the pyramids, which are a series of large, oval-shaped structures that contain most of the movement-related nerves in your body. The medulla oblongata also contains the tractus corticospinalis, which is the main pathway that carries signals from the brain to the rest of your body.

At the rostral end of your medulla oblongata, there’s a small groove that separates it from the spinal cord. The medulla oblongata then curves to the left, and joins the spinal cord at a place called the decussatio pyramidum.

This is a point where most of your body’s movement-related nerves cross over, so one side of your brain often controls parts on the opposite side of your body.

In most people, the medulla is protected by a membrane called the cerebrospinal fluid. This helps keep the medulla oblongata and other areas of your brain safe from injury.

It also protects your medulla from certain diseases and other conditions, such as stroke or tumors. Injuries to your medulla can cause serious problems, such as brain death or a coma.

The medulla is also responsible for pain relay from your head to the other parts of your body, and it plays a role in balance control.

Your medulla is very fragile, so it’s essential to protect it from any injuries and infections. This includes wearing safety equipment when working or playing sports, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Your medulla is also home to some very strange things, including one of the most common tumors in the human body. This tumor is a type of non-germinomatous germ cell tumor, or teratoma. These tumors typically grow near the midline of the brain, especially in the pineal gland and suprasellar region.


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