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The hypothalamus is the area of the brain which is located under the thalamus and part of the diencephalon. Subject to segregation of hormones, the hypothalamus is responsible for regulating mood, sleep, libido, hunger, thirst and body temperature.
This grey area is divided into several nuclei, such as the paraventricular, the preoptic, the supraoptique, the ventromedial, dorso-medial, posterior and lateral, among others.
The hypothalamus affects the autonomic nervous system and the limbic system, and is regarded as the vegetative nervous system integrator centre. It is connected to the endocrine system, spinal and cranial nerves.
Not only the hypothalamus releases hormones as it is capable of producing some neurohormones of direct action such as antidiuretic hormone (which regulates water balance in the body) and oxytocin (associated with the genital in the case of men and the uterus and mammary glands in women).
Moreover, it belongs to the hypothalamus secrete several substances or perform certain functions to regulate the secretion of pituitary hormones.
Surgery, a big fist kick, a tumor, or degeneration due to aging can cause serious damage to the hypothalamus. Among the consequences of these disorders, we will retain the Diabetes Insipidus (which reduces the production of vasopressin and which resulted in large volumes of urine), psychological imbalances, obesity, sleep disorders, altered heart rate and sexual abnormalities.