Neuroendocrinology is the study of the interaction between the nervous system and the endocrine system, including the biological features of the cells involved, and how they communicate. The nervous and endocrine systems often act together in a process called neuroendocrine integration, to regulate the physiological processes of the human body. Neuroendocrinology arose from the recognition that the brain, especially the hypothalamus, controls secretion of pituitary gland hormones, and has subsequently expanded to investigate numerous interconnections of the endocrine and nervous systems. The neuroendocrine system is the mechanism by which the hypothalamus maintains homeostasis, regulating reproduction, metabolism, eating and drinking behavior, energy utilization, osmolality, and blood pressure. Neuroendocrinology is also used as an integral part of understanding and treating neurobiological brain disorders. One example is the augmentation of the treatment of mood symptoms with thyroid hormone. Another is the finding of a transthyretin (thyroxine transport) problem in the cerebrospinal fluid of some patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Neuroendocrinology embraces a wide range of topics that arose directly or indirectly from the core concept of neuroendocrine neurons. Neuroendocrine neurons control the gonads, whose steroids, in turn, influence the brain, as do corticosteroids secreted from the adrenal gland under the influence of adrenocorticotrophic hormone. The study of these feedbacks became the province of neuroendocrinologists. Neuroendocrine systems have been important to our understanding of many basic principles in neuroscience and physiology, for instance, our understanding of stimulus-secretion coupling. The origins and significance of patterning in neuroendocrine secretion are still dominant themes in neuroendocrinology today. Neuroendocrinology is also used as an integral part of understanding and treating neurobiological brain disorders.