Mesodiencephalic dopaminergic (mdDA) neurons are located in the ventral mesodiencephalon and are involved in psychiatric disorders and severely affected in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease. mdDA neuronal development has received much attention in the last 15 years and many transcription factors involved in mdDA specification have been discovered.
We propose that neural representations of motivational drives, including sexual desire, hunger, thirst, fear, power-dominance, the motivational aspect of pain, the need for sleep, and nurturance, are represented in four areas in the brain. These are located in the medial hypothalamic/preoptic area, the periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) in the midbrain/pons, the midline and intralaminar thalamic nuclei, and in the anterior part of the mesial cortex, including the medial prefrontal and anterior cingulate areas.
Hypnagogic and hypnopompic experiences (HHEs) accompanying sleep paralysis (SP) are often cited as sources of accounts of supernatural nocturnal assaults and paranormal experiences. Descriptions of such experiences are remarkably consistent across time and cultures and consistent also with known mechanisms of REM states. A three-factor structural model of HHEs based on their relations both to cultural narratives and REM neurophysiology is developed and tested with several large samples.
Vertebral artery dissection has been previously reported following minor head and neck trauma. Such activities as rapid head turning, tennis, yoga, and vigorous exercise have been implicated. We report a case of vertebral artery dissection following minor neck trauma suffered in a volleyball game. The anatomy of the vertebral artery, pathophysiology of dissection, and emergency department recognition and treatment of this disorder are discussed.
American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology
The periaqueductal gray (PAG) is an important integrative region in the regulation of autonomic outflow and cardiovascular function and may serve as a regulatory center as part of a long-loop pathway during somatic afferent stimulation with acupuncture.
American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
We have shown that electroacupuncture (EA) inhibits sympathoexcitatory rostral ventrolateral medulla (rVLM) neurons and reflex responses following activation of a long-loop pathway in the arcuate nucleus and ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (vlPAG). Additionally, EA at P 5-6 acupoints (overlying the median nerve) activates serotonin-containing neurons in the nucleus raphé pallidus (NRP), which, in turn, inhibit rVLM neurons.