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The Ductless Glands and Their Secretions

(Fig. 33, p. 252)

Outline of the section: The locations and functions of the ductless glands briefly described in this section.

The secretions of the ductless glands are called internal secretions because they are not carried to the exterior by an open duct, but are poured directly into the blood or lymph.

Certain glands with ducts have also internal secretions, as for instance, the pancreas. In fact, it is claimed by some authorities that every specialized tissue in the body produces secretions which in some way influence the vital activities. Prom this it becomes apparent that internal secretion is one of Nature's methods of coordinating the activities of the various parts of a complex organism. The more easily understood coordination, by means of the nervous system, is of later development in the evolutionary process.

In the following paragraphs I shall briefly describe the locations and functions of the ductless glands, and follow this with a summary of the teachings of Dr. Charles E. de Sajous concerning the coordination and function of these interesting organs.

1. Pineal Gland. This is a small body projecting from the roof of the third ventricle at the base of the brain, beneath the corpus callosum. It is glandular in structure, reaching maximum development at about the seventh year. After this period and particularly after puberty it degenerates into fibrous tissue. It contains a few atrophied nerve cells without axons.

Fig. 33.

Occultists claim that all through life this gland is in active communication with the pituitary glands; that, in fact, the life impulses pass from the pineal gland into the pituitary bodies and from these and the nervous system, all through the organism.

Disease of this gland results in a too rapid development of the reproductive organs, accompanied by mental precocity and excessive growth of the bony structures. From this it appears that the gland has a restraining influence upon the development of the reproductive organs and upon the growth of the skeleton.

The pineal gland is better developed in the hatteria (lizards) and lamprey (fishes) than in man. In these lower animals it is often found in duplicate organs. One of these organs then corresponds to the - gland proper, while the other develops into an eye-like structure connected by nerve fibers to the habenular ganglia. This third eye is situated centrally on the upper surface of the head but is covered with skin. An ancient myth tells about human beings who possessed a third eye at the back of the head.

2. Pituitary Gland. This glandular structure is situated in the sala turcica of the sphenoid bone, at the base of the brain. It consists of three parts which are structurally and functionally different:

(1) Anterior lobe;

(2) Pars intermedia. This corresponds to the "test organ" of Sajous;

(3) Posterior lobe, developed from the floor of the third ventricle. In adults it consists mainly of neuroglia.

Hypertrophy of the anterior lobe results in acromegaly or enlargement of the bones of the face and limbs. Partial removal causes increase of adipose tissue and atrophy of the sexual organs (sex infantilism)

3. Thyroid Gland. This ductless gland consists of two oval lobes lying one on each side of the windpipe, just below the Adam's apple, and connected by an isthmus or middle lobe. Absence or atrophy of the gland in children causes cretinism (idiocy).

Removal or atrophy of the gland in adults causes myxedema. The organ secretes iodothyrin which contains 9.3 percent iodin by dry weight. Since perverted nitrogenous metabolism invariably follows complete removal of the thyroid gland, it is evident that this gland must supply the system with some principle which enables it to assimilate nitrogen for repair and to oxidize nitrogenous waste products prior to their elimination.

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