The brain controls or influences most organ and cell functions in the body, either directly by contact through nerves, or indirectly through hormones. Immediately subservient to the brain is the pituitary, our master endocrine gland. Neurohormones from the brain, called releasing factors, control each of the various pituitary hormones: adrenal cortical trophic hormone (ACTH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), gonadotrophins (LH, FSH), and so on. In turn, these pituitary hormones control the adrenal cortex, thyroid, gonads, and so on, and influence many other endocrine functions (Figure 1). How aging alters the functions of the brain and pituitary is of obvious interest, and yet surprisingly little is known.
KeywordsBasal Ganglion Locus Coeruleus Estrous Cycle Parkinson Symptom Viral Encephalitis
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