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Function of Pons in Brain

The pons is a portion of the brainstem, which connects the brain to the spinal cord. It oversees unconscious processes and functions like sleeping, waking up, and breathing. It also has multiple junction places for nerves that govern muscles and carry information from the brain and face's sensors.

What is the Pons?

Function of Pons in Brain

The pons is the brainstem's second-lowest region, right above the medulla oblongata. It connects the brain above it with the oblongata medulla and spinal cord below it. The pons is an important junction location for several of the cranial nerves, which are nerves that link directly to the brain. Those nerve connections are critical, since they aid in several of the senses, as well as the ability to move various portions of the face and mouth.

What is the Function of the Pons?

The pons is a portion of the brainstem that connects the brain to the spinal cord. As a result, the pons is an important part of the neurological system, providing a pathway for impulses to and from the brain. Several neurotransmitters in the pons help with brain function, especially sleep.

The pons can handle a variety of crucial tasks on its own:

  • It has an impact on the sleep cycle. When a person wakes up, his pons determines the level of awareness in the body.
  • It regulates pain signals. The pons is responsible for relaying and regulating pain signals from everywhere in the body below the neck region.
  • It interacts with other parts of the brain. The pons is a vital link between the brain and the cerebellum, which oversees balance and movement. It also collaborates with other areas within the brainstem that control breathing.

Cranial Nerve Connections

Furthermore, the pons has numerous crucial junctions for 4 of the 12 cranial nerves, which connect directly to the brain. The cranial nerves (which are numbered using Roman numerals) that attach to the pons are:

  • Trigeminal nerve (Cranial Nerve V): The trigeminal (try-gem-in-all) nerve controls the chewing muscles and delivers a sense of touch and pain to the cheeks.
  • Abducens nerve (CN VI): One of the muscles that controls eye movement is the abducens (ab-DO-sens) nerve. Double vision (diplopia) can result from damage to this nerve.
  • Facial nerve (CN VII): From the front of the tongue, this nerve controls most of the facial emotions as well as the sense of taste.
  • Vestibulocochlear nerve (CN VIII): The vestibulocochlear nerve (vest-ib-you-lo-co-klee-ar) nerve divides into the vestibular nerve and the cochlear nerve. The vestibular (vest-ib-you-lar) nerve controls how well the person balance. The ability to hear is provided by the cochlear nerve (co-klee-ar).

How does it Help with Other Organs?

By conveying sensory input and directly managing some of the body's unconscious activities, the pons assists other organs. These include the person's sleep-wake cycle and breathing patterns. The pons also manages the capacity to sense pain, and that sensation of pain can help people react to limit or prevent injuries.


Where is the pons located?

The pons is one of the lowest structures in the brain and is found towards the base of the skull. It's located right above the medulla oblongata, which links to the spinal cord via the opening at the base of the skull.

What does it look like?

The pons is off-white or beige in colour. It resembles the upper stem of a cauliflower branch.

How big is it?

Pons' dimensions are:

Height: 1.06 inches tall (27 millimetres [mm]).

Width: 1.49 inches (38 mm).

Depth: 0.98 inches (25 mm).

What is it made of?

The pons, like the rest of the brain and nervous system, is made up of many types of nervous system cells and structures. The nuclei (plural for "nucleus") are nerves or clusters of brain cells that perform the same function or connect to the same locations.

The nuclei are made up of the following cell types:

  • Neurons: These cells make up the brain's neurons and nerves, and they send and relay messages. Signals can also be converted into chemical or electrical forms.
  • Glial cells: These are neural support cells. They do not transmit or relay nervous system messages, but they do assist the neurons that do.


Neurons are the cells in the brain that send and relay impulses utilising both electrical and chemical signals. Each neuron is made up of the following components:

  • Cell body: This is the most important component of the cell.
  • Axon: This is a long, arm-like structure that extends from the cell body. There are many finger-like extensions at the end of the axon where the electrical signal in the neuron becomes a chemical signal. These extensions, known as synapses, connect to adjacent nerve cells.
  • Dendrites: These are little branch-like extensions of the cell body (the name comes from a Latin word that means "tree-like"). Dendrites get chemical signals from the synapses of other neighbouring neurons.
  • Myelin: Many neurons' axons are surrounded by this thin, fatty layer, which serves as a protective covering.

Neuron connections are extremely complicated, with a single neuron's dendrites connecting to thousands of other synapses. Some neurons are longer or shorter in length depending on where they are in the body and what they do.

Glial cells

Glial (pronounced glee-uhl) cells provide a variety of functions, including assisting in the development and maintenance of neurons during childhood and directing how neurons function throughout life. They also defend the nervous system from infections, regulate the nervous system's chemical equilibrium, and form the myelin covering on the axons of neurons. Glial cells outnumber neurons in the brain by a factor of ten.

What are the Common Conditions and Disorders that affect the Pons?

Many of the disorders that affect the brain can also have an impact on the pons. Some conditions have a direct impact on the pons. Here are some examples (in alphabetical order):

  • Tumours of the brain (including cancer)
  • Myelinolysis of the central pontine ganglion
  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Congenital illnesses (birth defects), including genetic disorders (conditions acquired from one or both parents)
  • Poisoning from heavy metals or other poisons
  • Immune and inflammatory diseases (for example, multiple sclerosis)
  • Infections (may be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi)
  • Locked-in syndrome as a result of trauma or stroke
  • Atrophy
  • Olivopontocerebellar atrophy
  • Stroke

Common Signs or Symptoms of Pons Conditions?

The indications and symptoms of pons disorders vary greatly depending on the affected area. Damage to different parts of the pons will have varied effects on the rest of the body. Some of the most prevalent symptoms are as follows:

  • Atherosclerosis (loss of coordination)
  • Hard of hearing
  • Diplopia (dual vision)
  • Loss of tactile sensitivity (the capacity to detect vibration, temperature, or pain)
  • Nystagmus
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Paralysis (affects sections of the head, face, or particular areas of the body; significant damage to the pons will result in paralysis of the entire body ? other than eye movement ? in a condition known as locked-in syndrome).
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus (a ringing in the ears).

Common Tests to Check the Health of the Body Organ?

When healthcare experts are identifying issues relating to the pons, the following tests may be performed:

  • Blood tests (these can detect a wide range of abnormalities, from immune system issues to toxins and poisons, particularly metals such as copper, mercury, or lead).
  • A computed tomography (CT) scan
  • EEG (Electroencephalogram)
  • Nerve conduction test (electromyogram)
  • Evoked potentials (sensory evaluations)
  • Genetic testing.
  • MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging.

PET (positron emission tomography) scan

How to Prevent Problems with the Pons?

Some pons problems are preventable, but others occur unexpectedly. In many circumstances, people can lower the likelihood of developing specific ailments or difficulties. The most effective preventive measures are as follows:

  • Eat a balanced diet: Vitamin levels that are either high or low can have an impact on the brain and nervous system. Managing the way, a people eat can also aid the vascular health, which influences brain's health.
  • Stay physically active and maintain a healthy weight: A healthy weight and level of activity can help prevent or delay illnesses that impact the brain, particularly heart and circulation issues that can lead to problems like stroke.
  • Use safety equipment: Head traumas, particularly concussions and traumatic brain injuries, can cause brain damage. In certain circumstances, the harm is irreversible. Helmets, for example, can help people avoid head injuries whether they're at work or on vacation.
  • Take care of chronic conditions: Many brain-related illnesses worsen over time, particularly untreated high blood pressure. Treatment for these problems can occasionally stop or slow them down, allowing patients to avoid more serious brain harm.

Doctor's Note

The pons is a small but vital component of the brain. Though it is a portion of the brain that is often overlooked, it is nevertheless an important aspect of how people conduct their life and get information about the world around people. It aids in the control of the body's respiration, balance, hearing, and other bodily functions. As a result, safeguarding the condition of the brain from injuries and preventable disorders is an important element of how people live their life.

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