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  1. My partner did her steam project on the effects of hypothermia and it is where the internal temperature of the body has dropped below ninety-five degrees fahrenheit. What happens is the somatosensory cortex transmits the signal to the preoptic area of the hypothalamus which regulates the core temperature of the body. The heart rate increases in order to push blood through the narrowed vessels, the respiratory rate increases to supply the body with the additional oxygen needed for muscle contractions which is the body’s initial response. If hypothermia persists, the opposite of the beginning, sympathetic responses will occur, which is oxygen and glucose shortages causing atrial dysrhythmia, decreased heart rate, decreased respiratory rate, and thus a decreased level of consciousness. Since hypothermia is still persisting, it causes the gag reflex to be lost, which is controlled by the same nerves which serve afferent and efferent roles in the reflex arc; specifically the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves. What I took away from this is that when the gag reflex is lost it has a result in brain damage. This will then lead to the shivering stopping due to the decrease in oxygen which is hyporeflexia, a condition in which the muscles cease to respond to stimuli due to a diminished reflex response. When all of the involuntary functions necessary for life are affected it then shuts down the brain. This will then lead to the final coma, a condition indicative of brain damage, in which the body falls unresponsive.
    I thought this was a well thought out explanation of what the process of hypothermia has on the Nervous system and it was well illustrated.

    Payton Matsui

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