Pineal gland

Pineal gland

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Credit: ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pineal gland. Computer artwork of a sectioned human brain in side view, showing the pineal gland (highlighted). Front of the brain is at left. The pineal gland secretes the hormone melatonin which controls the body's biological clock. It is a small gland situated deep within the brain, just below the back of the corpus callosum. The pineal naturally secretes melatonin, mainly at night, which helps induce sleep and set the biological rhythm of the body. A high level of light seems to inhibit this hormone secretion. In middle age, the pineal secretes less melatonin and this may be responsible for aging symptoms. The pineal gland is sometimes the site of a cancerous tumour.

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Keywords: anatomy, artwork, brain, endocrine gland, hormone, human body, pineal, pineal gland

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