Problems Regulating Body Functions
The medulla is the part of the brain responsible for regulating body functions. It is cone-shaped and holds the nerve cell mass that manages the body's involuntary functions, including heart rate, breathing, blood vessel dilation, and digestion. The medulla also controls sneezing, swallowing, vomiting, as well as respiration and circulation. The sensory and motor neurons transmit signals from the forebrain and midbrain to the medulla. The medulla receives blood from the anterior spinal artery, posterior inferior cerebellar artery, and the vertebral artery's direct branches.
When someone has Lewy body dementia, these tissues are affected by the abnormal protein growth of infected cells, causing sensory problems and can be attributed to issues regulating body functions. Patients can lose the ability to control bladder function and become disturbed by the frequent need to urinate.
Since the medulla manages the heart, patients tend to suffer from irregular heartbeats, dizziness, drowsiness, and unconsciousness. The ability to regulate body temperature is loss and contributes to excessive shivering and perspiring.