|Latin||nucleus centromedianus thalami|
|NeuroLex ID||Centromedian nucleus|
|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.
Input and output
It sends nerve fibres to the subthalamic nucleus and putamen. 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.
A patient with electrodes implanted into more than 50 different regions in his brain (including regions giving him orgasmic feelings) choose to self stimulate the electrode in his centromedian nucleus more than all other electrodes. The patients explanation of this: "The subject reported that he was almost able to recall a memory during this stimulation, but he could not quite grasp it. The frequent selfstimulations were an endeavor to bring this elusive memory into clear focus." 
Notes and references
- 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. doi:10.1093/brain/123.7.1410. PMID 10869053.
- 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. doi:10.1136/jnnp.30.2.140. PMC . PMID 4962197.
- Illustration and text: coro97/contents.htm at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical school - The Global Thalamus (See level 12, the centromedian nucleus is labelled CM)
- Schiff N, Plum F (2000). "The role of arousal and "gating" systems in the neurology of impaired consciousness". Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology. 17 (5): 438–52. doi:10.1097/00004691-200009000-00002. PMID 11085547.
- Joe Bogen's Consciousness Page (Professor Bogen) at California Institute of Technology
- NIF Search - Centromedian Nucleus[permanent dead link] via the Neuroscience Information Framework