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Centromedian nucleus

Centromedian nucleus
Latin nucleus centromedianus thalami
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Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

In the anatomy of the brain, the centromedian nucleus, also known as the centrum medianum, (CM or Cm-Pf) is a part of the intralaminar nucleus (ILN) of the thalamus. There are two centromedian nuclei arranged bilaterally.

In humans, it contains about 2000 neurons per cubic millimetre and has a volume of about 310 cubic millimetres with 664,000 neurons in total.[1]

Input and output

It sends nerve fibres to the subthalamic nucleus and putamen.[2] It receives nerve fibres from the cerebral cortex, vestibular nuclei, globus pallidus, superior colliculus, reticular formation, and spinothalamic tract.


Its physiological role involves attention and arousal, including control of the level of cortical activity. Some frequencies of extracellular electrical stimulation of the centromedian nucleus can cause absence seizures (temporary loss of consciousness) although electrical stimulation can be of therapeutic use in intractable epilepsy and Tourette's syndrome. General anaesthetics specifically suppress activity in the ILN, including the centromedian nucleus. Complete bilateral lesions of the centromedian nucleus can lead to states normally associated with brain death such as coma, death, persistent vegetative state, forms of mutism and severe delirium. Unilateral lesions can lead to unilateral thalamic neglect.

Additional images

Notes and references

  1. ^ Henderson J, Carpenter K, Cartwright H, Halliday G (2000). "Loss of thalamic intralaminar nuclei in progressive supranuclear palsy and Parkinson's disease: clinical and therapeutic implications". Brain. 123 ( Pt 7) (7): 1410–1421. PMID 10869053. doi:10.1093/brain/123.7.1410. 
  2. ^ Powell, T. P. S.; Cowan W. M. (1967). "The interpretation of the degenerative changes in the intralaminar nuclei of the thalamus". Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 30 (2): 140–153. PMC 496153. PMID 4962197. doi:10.1136/jnnp.30.2.140. 

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