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Updated: Jul 7 2017

Limbic System

  • Introduction
    • Function
      • the limbic system is involved in
        • Homeostasis
        • Olfaction
        • Memory
        • Emotions and drives
        • mnemonic "HOME"
    • Anatomy
      • the main components of the limbic system includes
        • limbic cortex
        • hippocampal formation
          • involved in learning and memory
        • amygdala
          • involved in emotions and drives
        • olfactory cortex
        • hypothalamus
        • thalamus
      • Papez circuit
        • although it overly simplifies the circuitry of the limbic system, it is a useful way to expose yourself to this circuitry
          • fibers from the hippocampal formation enter the fornix to reach
            • the lateral and medial mammillary nuclei
          • fibers from the medial mammillary nuclei project to the
            • anterior nucleus of the thalamus (via the mammillothalamic tract), which subsequently project fibers to the
              • cingulate gyrus after passing through the internal capsule
          • fibers from the cingulate gyrus then project to the
            • parahippocampul gyrus and then to the
              • enterrhinal cortex and finally to the
                • hippocampal formation
    • Clinical correlate
      • anterograde amnesia
        • this describes a deficit in forming new memories and can be seen in
          • bilateral medial temporal lobe damage
      • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
        • this is caused by thiamine deficiency and results in
          • bilateral necrosis of the mamillary bodies (in most cases)
        • these patients typically present with the triad of
          • ataxia
          • eye movement abnormalities (e.g., ophthalmoplegia)
          • confusion
        • after the patient survives the acute stages of this disease, they can develop
          • anterograde and retrograde amnesia
      • Kluver-Bucy syndrome
        • this results from bilateral lesions of the amygdala and adjacent temporal lobe structures, which results in
          • placidity
            • decreased aggressive behavior and having little emotional reaction
          • psychic blindness
          • hyperorality
          • hypersexuality
      • Schizophenia
        • defective dopaminergic signaling in the mesolimbic pathway (ventral tegmental area of the midbrain to the ventral striatum)
          • responsible for positive psychotic symptoms (e.g., delusions, hallucinations)
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