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The habenular commissure is a white matter tract connecting the two habenular nuclei and the internal medullary laminae 1. Whilst the exact role of the habenular commissure is unknown, the habenular nuclei play an important role in influencing how the brain responds to a variety of stimuli, including anxiety, pain, reward, stress, and sleep 2.
The habenular commissure is located in the superior lamina of the stalk of the pineal gland 3,4. The posterior commissure, located slightly inferiorly to the habenular commissure, is located in the inferior stalk of the pineal gland 3,4. The habenular commissure, along with the pineal gland, posterior commissure, and trigone habenulae comprise the epithalamus 1,5.
The habenular commissure is often noted to be calcified on plain skull radiographs and CT imaging 5. In a study of 1000 consecutive patients who obtained both skull radiographs and CT scans, the habenular commissure was noted to be calcified in 13% of radiographs and 15% of CT scans 6.
The effect of isolated damage to the habenular commissure is unknown, although ablation of the habenular nuclei has been noted to cause impairments in metabolism, endocrine function, and thermal regulation 1.
- 1 Gray, Henry, and S. Standring. "Gray’s anatomy: the anatomical basis of clinical practice, 40th edn. Churchill-Livingstone." (2008).
- 2. Velasquez KM, Molfese DL, Salas R. The role of the habenula in drug addiction. (2014) Frontiers in human neuroscience. 8: 174.
- 3. Pritha S Bhuiyan, Lakshmi Rajgopal, K Shyam Kishore. Inderbir Singh's Textbook of Human Neuroanatomy (Fundamental and Clinical). (2014).
- 4. Herbert B. Newton, Herbert B Newton, MD, Faan. Handbook of Neuro-Oncology Neuroimaging. (2016).
- 5. William W. Orrison. Atlas of Brain Function. (2018).
- 6. Macpherson P, Matheson MS. Comparison of calcification of pineal, habenular commissure and choroid plexus on plain films and computed tomography. (1979) Neuroradiology. 18 (2): 67-72.