Question
Asked Dec 5, 2019
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  • In the midbrain identify the following structures and know their functions: cerebral aqueduct, substantia nigra, superior colliculus, inferior colliculus & cerebral peduncles.  Understand the role of substantia nigra in Parkinson’s
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Expert Answer

Step 1

The controlling and communication center of human body is known as brain. It has various structures that are involved in learning, speaking and other day to day processes. The midbrain is also called as mesencephalon. It serves major functions in certain movements of the eye, motor movement, and in auditory and visual processing.

Step 2

The cerebral aqueduct is located within the midbrain and is also called as aqueductus mesencephali, sylvian aqueduct, or aqueduct of sylvius. They are surrounded by periaqueductal grey matter with the tectum of midbrain located posteriorly and the tegmentum anteriorly. It serves as a channel that connects the third ventricle with the fourth ventricle located dorsal to the pons and ventral to the cerebellum and allows cerebrospinal fluid to pass between them.

Substantia nigra is a motor nucleus present in the midbrain. It is the top most structure present in the brain stem. The substantia nigra present in the anterior part of midbrain in the cerebellar peduncles. It divides the cerebellar peduncles into anterior crus cerebri and posterior tegmentum of mid brain. Substantia nigra is a very important structure in brain that plays a key role in the regulation of muscle tone and movements. It consists of two parts such as pars reticulata and pars compacta. The pars reticulata is an important processing center that processes the GABA signals and is a part of both direct and indirect pathways. The pars compacta is involved in the motor control of the body. It sends efferent fibers to the striatum that release dopamine neurotransmitter.

The superior colliculus refers to the rostral part of the midbrain. Its upper layer receives visual signals from the retina of the eye, while the lower layers process multiple signals from various other parts of the brain. This colliculus is not restricted to a visual role alon...

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