NCBI ROFL: What's happening in your brain while you pee?

By ncbi rofl | July 10, 2012 7:00 pm

A Preliminary Report on the Use of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging with Simultaneous Urodynamics to Record Brain Activity During Micturition.

“PURPOSE:
We mapped brain activity during micturition using functional magnetic resonance imaging with simultaneous recording of urodynamic properties during slow bladder filling and micturition.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
We evaluated 12 healthy female volunteers 20 to 68 years old. Eight subjects could urinate while supine. Meaningful data were obtained on 6 of these subjects. Brain activity was recorded continuously during bladder filling and micturition. Functional magnetic resonance imaging measurements made during the micturition phase were used for the final analysis.
RESULTS:
Using group statistics we identified clusters of brain activity in the parahippocampal gyrus, anterior cingulate gyrus, inferior temporal gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus during micturition. At the individual level we also observed activation in the upper pontine region, thalamus and posterior cingulum. In subjects unable to void brain activation was documented in the frontal lobe and posterior cingulate gyrus but not in the pons, thalamus or anterior cingulate gyrus. In 5 subjects we identified a relevant pattern of brain activity during the terminal portion of the filling phase when the patient reported a strong desire to urinate.
CONCLUSIONS:
This new protocol allows for the localization of brain structures that are active during micturition. Data suggest that additional validation studies are needed. Future studies will test modifications that include more detailed monitoring of bladder sensation, stratifying subjects based on age and gender, and increasing the number of data points by adding subjects and the number of micturitions recorded in a single subject.”

Thanks to Pete for today’s ROFL!
Photo: flickr/~Ealasaid~

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  • Pete

    Lovely, now in lay speak, please for those who neither know nor care what micturation is

    • http://profiles.google.com/mbcapozzi Mike Capozzi

      peeing

  • Stargene

    Hmmm.  Sometimes tech babble does get rather prissy and hyperintellectual
    when confronted with good ol’ bodyology.  One doesn’t exactly spout
    off at a nightclub, “Ah, my darling.  Mind if I hurtle off to the old lav a bit,
    since too many beers have rendered my pons dead as a doornail and
    my thalamus and anterior cingulate gyrus aren’t speaking to one another
    and I must needs micturate apace!”

  • http://profiles.google.com/mbcapozzi Mike Capozzi

    But seriously, someone got paid to do this “experiment”…

    I’m in the wrong business.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_72KPUOHZKJFQCR7KD45TYUDYRI John Smith

    Is this on YouTube yet?

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NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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