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Sensory Visceral Neurons and Visceral Reflexes 

Sensory Visceral Neurons and Visceral Reflexes
Chapter:
Sensory Visceral Neurons and Visceral Reflexes
Author(s):

Per Brodal

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190228958.003.0029
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date: 02 March 2021

Chapter 29 deals with visceral afferent neurons bringing sensory information from the viscera to the central nervous system. Such fibers follow sympathetic splanchnic nerves, parasympathetic cranial nerves, and parasympathetic pelvic nerves. Generally, fibers conducting signals from visceral nociceptors follow sympathetic nerves, whereas the parasympathetic nerves contain fibers from other kinds of receptors. The visceral afferent fibers end in the dorsal horn or the solitary nucleus in the brain stem. The normal function of the sensory innervation of the internal organs is related to homeostasis and mediation of visceral reflexes. The reflex centers are in the spinal cord or in the brain stem. The control of micturition is discussed, including spinal reflex mechanisms, the pontine micturition center, and the cerebral cortex. Visceral afferents mediate information from the immune system to the brain, evoking sickness behavior. The special features of visceral pain and the phenomenon of referred pain are discussed.

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