The brain stem is located deep in the brain and leads to the spinal cord.

FUNCTION

OBSERVED PROBLEMS

Controls breathing and heart rate

Controls swallowing and blood pressure

Controls the flow of messages between the brain and entire body

Controls alertness and sleeping

Reflexes to seeing and hearing 

Controls sweating, blood pressure, digestion, temperature (Autonomic Nervous System)

Sense of balance 

 

Breathing and speech

Difficulty swallowing food and water 

Trouble with organization and perception of the environment

Problems with balance and movement

Dizziness and nausea (Vertigo)

Sleeping difficulties (Insomnia, sleep apnea)