Aug 23, 2016

Neuroscientists identify cortical links to adrenal medulla (mind-body connection)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Cortical pathways to the adrenal medulla. Cortical areas on the lateral surface and the medial wall of the hemisphere are the source of neurons that influence the adrenal medulla. Gray shading: cortical motor areas; blue shading: medial prefrontal areas. (credit: Richard P. Dum et al./PNAS)

Neuroscientists at the University of Pittsburgh have identified the neural networks that connect the cerebral cortex to the adrenal medulla — the inner part of the adrenal gland, located above each kidney, which is responsible for the body’s rapid response in stressful situations.

These findings, reported in the online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences PNAS), provide evidence for the neural basis of a mind-body connection. They also shed new light on how stress, depression, and other mental states can alter organ function, and show that there is a real anatomical basis for psychosomatic illness.

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