|Brain: Mammillary body|
|The hypophysis cerebri in position. Shown in sagittal section. (Label "corpus mamillare" at right.)|
|Coronal section of brain through intermediate mass of third ventricle. (Label "corpus mamillare" at bottom.)|
|Gray's||subject #188 813|
medial mammillary nucleus
lateral mammillary nucleus
The mammillary bodies (mamillary bodies) are a pair of
small round bodies, located on the undersurface of the
that form part of the
limbic system. They are located at the ends of the
anterior arches of the
fornix. They consist of two groups of nuclei, the medial
mammillary nuclei and the lateral mammillary nuclei.
Neuroanatomists have often categorized the mammillary bodies as part of the hypothalamus.
They are connected to other parts of the brain (as shown in the schematic, below left), and act as a relay for impulses coming from the amygdalae and hippocampi, via the mamillo-thalamic tract to the thalamus.
This circuit, from amygdalae to mammillary bodies, and then on to the thalamus, is part of the larger 'Papez circuit'.
They, along with the anterior and dorsomedial nuclei in the thalamus, are involved with the processing of recognition memory.
They are believed to add the element of smell to memories.
The mammillary bodies are parts of the brain known to be significantly damaged by untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea Hypoxia,and associated with deficiency of thiamine. Researchers, in 2008, also noted visible abnormalities in the mammillary bodies of individuals with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Damage to the mammillary bodies due to thiamine deficiency is implied in pathogenesis of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Symptoms include impaired memory, also called anterograde amnesia, suggesting that the mammillary bodies may be important for memory. Lesions of the medial dorsal and anterior nuclei of the thalami and lesions of the mammillary bodies are commonly involved in amnesic syndromes in humans.
The content of this section is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License (local copy). It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mammillary body" modified November 23, 2009 with previous authors listed in its history.