Medical Surgical CNS vs PNS #5

Question

The nurse is caring for a client who has damage to her hypothalamus from previous radiation treatment. What troubles might the client experience as a result of this damage?

Answers

  1. Forgetting to eat or drink
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the thirst and appetite mechanism is controlled by the hypothalamus. This is an important function of the brain for management of nutrition and fluid status in the body. Fortunately these issues can be treated with hormone therapy.

  2. Difficulty controlling pain
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct since the hypothalamus does not provide a pain gate. Sensory relay is the role of the thalamus.

  3. Being unable to swallow
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because swallowing difficulties are a result of damage to the medulla oblongata. The medulla oblongata is part of the brain stem which regulates heart rate, respirations and swallowing.

  4. Visual defects and illusions.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because this would indicate injury to the visual cortex of the brain. The occipital lobe is responsible for receiving and processing visual information.

Overview

The hypothalamus regulates autonomic responses. These include sleep, appetite, body temperature, fluid balance, memorizing, stress and emotion.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

The hypothalamus regulates autonomic responses. These include sleep, appetite, body temperature, fluid balance, memorizing, stress and emotion. The thirst and appetite mechanism is controlled by the hypothalamus. This is an important function of the brain for management of nutrition and fluid status in the body. The hypothalamus connects the nervous system and endocrine system by the pituitary gland. Through this process, it produces important hormones. Hormones are fundamental to the body for proper body process functioning and essential for reproduction.

Test Taking Tip

Know the anatomy and physiology of the brain as it relates to the nervous systems.

Video Rationale