Discuss why the hypothalamus is both an endocrine organ and part of the nervous system.

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gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hypothalamus is a small (about the size of almond in human beings) but very important organ in our brain. It connects the nervous system to the endocrine system through the pituitary gland. It consists of several small nuclei that are responsible for a number of bodily functions. It plays important roles in both the nervous system and the endocrine system.

Hypothalamus synthesizes and secrets neurohormones, and these hormones (in turn) control and regulate (stimulate or inhibit) the release of hormones from the pituitary gland. Among the various functions of hypothalamus, this control of major hormonal release from pituitary gland is of great importance. Apart from this, hypothalamus also controls the body temperature, food/water intake, reproduction, circadian rhythm and mediation of emotional responses. 

Since, it carries out functions of both the nervous system and endocrine system, hypothalamus is considered a part of both these system. 

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