Endocrine System

  • In common with the nervous system, the endocrine system has a role for control and coordination throughout the body.

  • Whilst the nervous system deals mostly in very short term control (on a time scale of milliseconds to seconds), the endocrine system may exert relatively short term (seconds to minutes) or long term (days to weeks) control.

  • Structurally, the endocrine system comprises a number of separate organs and tissues scattered throughout the body. These include:

  1. The hypothalamus which is part of the brain
  2. The pituitary (hypophysis) attached to the underside of the brain
  3. The thyroid, situated in the neck close to the larynx
  4. The parathyroids, associated with the thyroid but comprising separate structures
  5. The adrenals, situated on top of each kidney
  6. The endocrine portion of the pancreas
  7. The ovaries or testes