Hippocampus

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The hippocampus is a region of the brain important for consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, spatial navigation, and mood.[1][2] The name hippocampus derives from the Greek word for seahorse, in that it mimics a seahorse in size and shape. The plural of hippocampus is hippocampi.[3] The brain [3]

Some parts of the hippocampus may be able to generate new nerve cells, a process called neurogenesis, to replace older hippocampus nerves.[2] Brian neurogenesis was once believed to not exist in adults. [2] If the hippocampus can not generate new cells because of illness or medication, poor memory and depression may result. [4][5]

Exercise[edit | edit source]

Exercise, including aerobic training, has been shown to slightly increase the volume of the hippocampus, and help reduce age-related decline.[2]

Role in ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

The hippocampus is shown to be damaged or atrophied in ME/CFS and fibromyalgia. Sleep disturbances common in ME/CFS and FM can, in turn, further impact the hippocampus and initiate a vicious circle of increased disability.[6]

In 2014, researchers in Japan, at the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, in collaboration with Osaka City University and Kansai University of Welfare Sciences, used functional PET imaging to show that levels of inflammation of the nervous system, are higher in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome than in healthy people. The researchers found that inflammation in certain areas of the brain—the cingulate cortex, hippocampus, amygdala, thalamus, midbrain, and pons—was elevated in a way that correlated with the symptoms.[7][8]

Since the hippocampus is negatively affected by emotional stress, some programs that are suggested as a treatment for ME/CFS emphasize stress reduction, for example meditation[9][10], biofeedback[11], and yoga[12], although no stress management or mental health treatment for ME/CFS has established clear positive results. Anxiety and stress are not considered diagnostic symptoms of ME/CFS.

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Torrico, Tyler J.; Abdijadid, Sara (2021). Neuroanatomy, Limbic System. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. PMID 30860726.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Baptista, Pedro; Andrade, José P. (2018). "Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis: Regulation and Possible Functional and Clinical Correlates". Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. 12. doi:10.3389/fnana.2018.00044. ISSN 1662-5129.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Definition of HIPPOCAMPUS". Merrian-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  4. Thuret, Sandrine (2015), You can grow new brain cells. Here's how, Ted Talks, retrieved March 1, 2021
  5. Sweatt, J. David (2016). "Neural plasticity and behavior – sixty years of conceptual advances". Journal of Neurochemistry. 139 (S2): 179–199. doi:10.1111/jnc.13580. ISSN 1471-4159.
  6. Saury, Jean-Michel (January 2016). "The role of the hippocampus in the pathogenesis of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)". Medical Hypotheses. 86: 30–38. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2015.11.024. ISSN 1532-2777. PMID 26804593.
  7. "Toward a clearer diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome | Press release". RIKEN. 2014. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  8. Nakatomi, Y.; Mizuno, K.; Ishii, A.; Wada, Y.; Tanaka, M.; Tazawa, S.; Onoe, K.; Fukuda, S.; Kawabe, J. (June 1, 2014). "Neuroinflammation in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: An 11C-(R)-PK11195 PET Study". Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 55 (6): 945–950. doi:10.2967/jnumed.113.131045. ISSN 0161-5505.
  9. "Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) - Meditation". PhoenixRising. 2006. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  10. Bested, Alison C.; Logan, Alan C (2008). Hope and help for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Russell Howe (2nd ed.). Nashville, Tenn.: Cumberland House Pub. ISBN 978-1-58182-670-8. OCLC 221175860.
  11. James, L.C.; Folen, R.A. (1996). "EEG biofeedback as a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome: a controlled case report". Behavioral Medicine. Washington,D.C. 22 (2): 77–81. doi:10.1080/08964289.1996.9933767. ISSN 0896-4289. PMID 8879459.
  12. "Yoga for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Relief". Yoga Journal. August 28, 2007. Retrieved February 28, 2021.