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Neuroendocrine cells are part of the endocrine system, which is a network of glands in the body. The glands produce hormones which control many of the body’s functions by controlling the levels of particular chemicals and fluids in the body, and they help us respond to changes in our environment. Specifically, neuroendocrine cells provide a link between this endocrine system and the body’s nervous system, the system that controls both voluntary and involuntary actions in the body.

The adrenal medulla is a group of neuroendocrine cells that controls the amount of adrenalin in the blood. As part of both the nervous and endocrine system, the adrenal medulla is able to respond rapidly to stresses on the body such as exercise and directly release adrenalin into the blood.

Neuroendocrine tumours (NET’s) are abnormal masses of neuroendocrine cells. They can be benign or malignant and most commonly occur in the digestive system. NET’s often grow slowly, and it may be several years before symptoms appear and the tumour is diagnosed.

NET’s sometimes make hormone-like substances such as serotonin. If these substances are released into the bloodstream they may cause a group of related symptoms known as carcinoid syndrome. These symptoms include diarrhoea, flushing of the skin and wheezing.

Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are abnormal masses of neuroendocrine cells. They can be benign or malignant and most commonly occur in the digestive system. NETs often grow slowly, and it may be several years before symptoms appear and the tumour is diagnosed.

NETs sometimes make hormone-like substances such as serotonin. If these substances are released into the bloodstream they may cause a group of related symptoms known as carcinoid syndrome. These symptoms include diarrhoea, flushing of the skin and wheezing.

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