How does the brain attain control of the urinary system?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: Bradley C Gill, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Answer

A continuous cycle of bladder filling and emptying occurs, which is why infants and young children are dependent on diapers until they are toilet trained. As the child's brain matures and develops, it gradually attains control of the bladder and the urinary sphincters to inhibit involuntary voiding. Control of the voiding process transitions from the sacral reflex center to the pontine micturition center, which is further modulated by higher brain centers that process emotion and social context.


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