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Mammillary bodies

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Brain: Mammillary bodies
Gray1180
The hypophysis cerebri in position. Shown in sagittal section. (Label "corpus mamillare" at right.)
Gray718
Coronal section of brain through intermediate mass of third ventricle. (Label "corpus mamillare" at bottom.)
Latin corpus mamillare
Gray's subject #188 813
Part of
Components
Artery
Vein
BrainInfo/UW hier-395
MeSH A08.186.211.730.385.357.362.500

The mammillary bodies are a pair of small round bodies in the brain forming part of the limbic system. They are located at the ends of the anterior arches of the fornix, and are named mammillary for their resemblance to two breasts. They consist of two groups of nuclei, the medial and lateral nuclei. They are connected to other parts of the brain as shown in the schematics below.

Mammillary-bodies-schematics

Schematic

The mammillary bodies are parts of the brain known to be significantly damaged by alcohol intoxication. Researchers in 1998 also noted visible abnormalities in the mammillary bodies of individuals with autism.

Damage to the mammillary bodies can result from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Symptoms include impaired memory, also called anterograde amnesia; this suggests that the mammillary bodies might be important for memory.

The name "mammillary bodies" refers to the resemblence of the protrusions to a pair of breasts on the ventral surface of the brain.


External links


Human brain: Limbic system
Amygdala - Cingulate gyrus - Fornicate gyrus - Hippocampus - Hypothalamus - Mammillary body - Nucleus accumbens - Orbitofrontal cortex - Parahippocampal gyrus
de:Corpus mamillare

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