Ud The Neuroscience Patient
A boy, known in the medical literature as “U.D.” had one-third of the right hemisphere of his brain removed four years ago in order to reduce his debilitating seizures. The part of the brain that was removed included the right side of his occipital lobe and most of his right temporal lobe, the brain’s sound-processing center. Now age 11, U.D. can’t see the left side of his world, but he functions just as well as others his age in cognition and vision processing, even without that key part of the brain.
That’s because both sides of the brain process most aspects of vision. But the right is dominant in detecting faces, while the left is dominant in processing words, according to a case study written about U.D.
That study showcases the plasticity of the brain; in the absence of U.D.’s right vision-processing center, the left center stepped in to compensate. Indeed, researchers found that the left side of U.D.’s brain detected faces just as well as the right would have.
This Medical Video Of A Freshly Removed Human Brain Is Strangely Beautiful
Even though you use your brain to do a lot of thinking, you probably don’t think about your brain that often.
It’s an incredibly complex, incredibly precious organ. It’s also incredibly squishy, as you can see in an amazing teaching video that demonstrates a freshly removed brain straight from autopsy.
As the neuroanatomist handles the vulnerable blob with the utmost care, it’s awe-inspiring to realise that each one of us has a squishy brain just like it – and it contains all our memories and thoughts.
The video, published on YouTube by the University of Utah Neuroscience Initiative back in 2013, is aimed at students who don’t have access to ‘fresh’ brains such as this one, and have only preserved brains, models, and pictures as study .
“Students tend to think that the brain is sort-of the consistency of a rubber ball, and that’s because in the laboratories, and teaching specimens, we have formalin-fixed brains,” says neuroanatomist Suzanne Stensaas in the video.
“However, if you’re a trauma surgeon or a neurosurgeon, you realise that the brain is really very, very soft, and much more vulnerable than the impression you get when you’re looking at the fixed brain.”
As she’s holding the 1.4 kg brain in both palms, it’s absolutely crazy to realise that right there is the entire set of life experiences of what was once a living, feeling human being.
“We are fortunate enough to show you what a normal, unfixed, recently deceased patient’s brain would look like,” says Stensaas.
Treatments For Depression In The Brain
Below are the list of medications that can help with the imbalance of the chemicals in the brain due to depression:
· selective serotonin uptake inhibitor Alleviates depresseive symptoms by changing the levels of serotonin. e.g. citalopram , include fluoxetine , paroxetine ,
· tricyclic antidepressants and serotonin-norepinephrine
reuptake inhibitors – Esed together, this will relieve depressive symptoms by changing the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. These chemicals improved energy and mood. e.g., venlafaxine (Effexor
XR) and SNRIs include duloxetine and trimipramine and Imipramine
· norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake
inhibitors Increases levels of
the mood-boosting chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain of a person with major depressive disorder. e.g., Bupropion
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors Improves neuron communication and increases the amount of the brains serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.brain cell communication.
- atypical antidepressants this drug blocks communication between brain cell to calm the body. Some examples are mood stabilizers, antipsychotics and tranquilizers.
· Electroconvulsive Therapy Procedure used that boosts connection or communication between brain cells by passing electrical currents through the brain
· Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation A noninvasive treatment that regulates mood by sending electrical pulses sent through magnetic energy in certain regions of the brain responsible for mood control.
What Happens In My Brain When I Am Learning
Your brain is primarily composed of about 85 billion neurons, which is more than the number of stars you can see with the naked eye in the night sky. A neuron is a cell which acts as a messenger, sending information in the form of nerve impulses to other neurons . For example, when you are writing, some neurons in your brain send the move fingers message to other neurons and this message then travels through the nerves all the way to your fingers. The electrical signals that are communicated from one neuron to another are therefore what allows you to do everything you do: write, think, see, jump, talk, compute, and so on. Each neuron can be connected with up to 10,000 other neurons, leading to a large number of connections in your brain , which looks like a very dense spider web .
- Figure 1 – Figure illustrating two neurons that are connected.
- Figure 2 – Figure illustrating the very large number of connections between neurons.
- Figure 3 – Figure illustrating the analogy of the trail in the forest.
The Size Of The Human Brain
- In terms of weight, the average adult human brain weighs in at 1300 to 1400 grams or around 3 pounds.
- In terms of length, the average brain is around 15 centimeters long.
- For comparison, a newborn human baby’s brain weighs approximately 350 to 400 grams or three-quarters of a pound.
- Men tend to have bigger brains than women. After taking overall body weight into account, men’s brains tend to be approximately 100 grams larger than women’s.
- In women, parts of the frontal lobe and limbic cortex tend to be bigger than those of men.
- In men, the parietal cortex and amygdala tend to be larger than those in women.
- are the structures that serve as building blocks of the brain and nervous system. They transmit and carry information, allowing different parts of the brain to communicate with one another as well as allowing the brain to communicate with various parts of the body. Researchers currently estimate that there are around 86 billion neurons in the human brain.
How Does The Brain Work
The brain works like a big computer. It processes information that it receives from the senses and body, and sends messages back to the body. But the brain can do much more than a machine can: humans think and experience emotions with their brain, and it is the root of human intelligence.
The human brain is roughly the size of two clenched fists and weighs about 1.5 kilograms. From the outside it looks a bit like a large walnut, with folds and crevices. Brain tissue is made up of about 100 billion nerve cells and one trillion supporting cells which stabilize the tissue.
There are various sections of the brain, each with their own functions:
- the cerebrum
- the diencephalon including the thalamus, hypothalamus and pituitary gland
- the brain stem including the midbrain, pons and medulla
- the cerebellum
The Brain May Contain Bacteria
Our brains might be teeming with bacteria. But don’t worry it doesn’t look like they cause any harm.
Previously, scientists thought that the brain was a bacteria-free environment and that the presence of microbes was a sign of disease. But preliminary findings from a study presented this year at the large annual Society for Neuroscience scientific meeting found that our brains could actually house harmless bacteria.
The researchers in that study had been examining 34 postmortem brains, looking for differences between those with schizophrenia and those without the condition. However, the researchers kept happening upon rod-shaped objects in their images, and these shapes turned out to be bacteria.
The microorganisms seemed to dwell in some spots in the brain more than in others; those areas included the hippocampus, the prefrontal cortex and the substantia nigra. The microbes were also found in brain cells called astrocytes that were near the blood-brain barrier, the “border wall” that guards the brain.
The findings haven’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal yet, and more research is needed to confirm the findings, the scientists said.
How Are Ministrokes Treated
Several treatment options are available. Ministrokes dont cause lasting brain tissue damage or disabilities, but they can be an early warning sign of a stroke. Treatment for ministrokes focuses on starting or adjusting medications that improve blood flow to the brain.
It also requires identifying that your doctor can fix to reduce your risk of future ministrokes or strokes.
Treatment options include drugs, medical procedures, and lifestyle changes.
Be Good To Your Brain
So what can you do for your brain? Plenty.
- Eat healthy foods. They contain vitamins and minerals that are important for the nervous system.
- Get a lot of playtime .
- Wear a helmet when you ride your bike or play other sports that require head protection.
- Don’t drink alcohol, take drugs, or use tobacco.
- Use your brain by doing challenging activities, such as puzzles, reading, playing music, making art, or anything else that gives your brain a workout!
Can You Inherit Depression
Yes, you can. Depression can be inherited. Research has shown that it is thrice more likely that a person will develop a major depressive disorder when they have a parent or sibling that has depression. However, research on the genetics of depression is in its early stages at the moment.
Mental illness markers can be captured and identified with MRI, ERP qEEG, and PET machines.
Minimally Invasive Carotid Intervention
This is a surgical procedure that involves accessing the carotid arteries with a catheter.
The catheter is inserted through the femoral artery in your groin. The doctor uses a balloonlike device to open up clogged arteries. Theyll place a or small wire tube inside the artery at the point of narrowing to improve blood flow to the brain.
A Depressed Brain Isnt Damaged Goods
We all have the same basic brain structure although the neuronal connections, determining the activation of and communication between brain circuits, are unique to every person. The particular circuits excited over and over in your brain become the go-to default pattern for you and are the product of your thoughts, interactions with others and the world, and the events that happen to you.
In the 1960s, we were told depression was due to a deficiency of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Then, a still popular theory blamed depression on too little . Today, we know that its much more complicated than either of these and involves many other neurochemicals which influence and are influenced by depression. To oversimplify, each neurotransmitter tends to contribute to a particular depressive symptom.
What Does A Brain Mri Show
What does a brain MRI show? The answer is, unfortunately, not very. MRI scans have been around for decades, and the technology has been steadily improving. Today, a brain MRI test can identify whether or not a person has a stroke, or if the person has suffered a traumatic brain injury, or if the person is suffering from some type of brain malfunction. MRI scans have even been used to screen people for depression! For those of us in the medical field, brain MRI scans are often used in conjunction with other diagnostic techniques, such as electroencephalographs , magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography scans to determine brain activity in patients who show certain signs or symptoms of disease or other disorders.
If a doctor suspects that a patient is exhibiting certain mental symptoms, one way that he or she can go about choosing which brain MRI test to use is by looking for certain things in the images. Patients with milder psychiatric problems, such as depression or social anxiety, may be able to benefit from MRI brain scans that provide information on how their brains process visual information. Doctors may choose to look for signs of abnormalities in the brain scans themselves, or they may choose to look for information on how that particular brain area processes the information. Either way, though, an effective test like this will give important information.
Cholesterol Is Key To Learning And Memory
The brain has a higher cholesterol content than any other organ. In fact, about 25% of the bodys cholesterol resides within the brain. The brain is highly dependent on cholesterol, but its cholesterol metabolism is unique. Because the blood-brain barrier prevents brain cells from taking up cholesterol from the blood, the brain must produce its own cholesterol. The brains cholesterol is much more stable than the cholesterol in other organs, but when it breaks down, it is recycled into new cholesterol right in the brain.
What Are Brain Tumors
A tumor in the brain isnt like tumors in other parts of your body. It has limited room for growth because of the skull. This means that a growing tumor can squeeze vital parts of the brain and lead to serious health problems. Learning about the possible symptoms of brain tumors can help you know when to tell a doctor about them.
This Is What Your Brain Looks Like On Science
If you’re reading this, it’s safe to say that you’re somewhat into science. You might not have studied it, but you probably got excited when researchers discovered the Higgs boson, and, if you’re anything like us, jumped up and down behind your computer when they detected gravitational waves for the first time.
But how exactly do our ancient, human brains handle learning about this type of mind-blowing physics? For the first time, researchers have mapped the brains of science students as they think about abstract physics concepts, such as gravity, momentum, and energy. And the results suggest that each concept is associated with its own specific brain network.
Understanding how our brains learn science is obviously fascinating in its own right, but the ultimate goal is for researchers to use this information to help teachers improve science education.
“If science teachers know how the brain is going to encode a new science concept, then they can define and elaborate that concept in ways that match the encoding,” said one of the researchers, Robert Mason from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. “They can teach to the brain by using the brain’s language.”
What Mason means by “the brain’s language” is that our brain hasn’t significantly changed since our ancestors were hunting and gathering thousands of years ago.
Just like a drug, certain ideas in physics activate the same parts of our brains, regardless of who we are.
And the answer, impressively, .
It Is A Myth That Humans Only Use 10% Of Our Brain
We actually use all of it. Were even using more than 10 percent when we sleep. Although its true that at any given moment all of the brains regions are not concurrently firing, brain researchers using imaging technology have shown that, like the bodys muscles, most are continually active over a 24-hour period.
What Happens To The Brain When It Is Injured
A mild traumatic brain injury/concussion is caused by a blow or jolt to the head. Concussions can also happen from a blow or jolt to the body that causes the head to move quickly back and forth. This can cause the brain to bounce around inside the skull.
This sudden movement can twist and stretch the cells and nerves in the brain or change how chemicals in the brain work for a short time. When this happens it can change the way the brain is able to send messages to the brain and body. This is why after a concussion, you might think, act, move or feel differently for a while.
If the brain moves hard enough inside the skull it can sometimes hurt the tissue that covers and protects the brain. The brain can then bang against the ridges that are on the inside of the skull. Depending where the brain hits will determine what parts of the brain are affected. Sometimes there is bleeding that can cause the brain to bruise. Just like a bruise on your leg or arm, this will heal.
Sometimes a doctor will order brain imaging tests like a computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging to show pictures of the brain more clearly. In many concussions, brain imaging is normal and does not show changes in the brain.
Every brain injury is different. Talk to your doctor or health care provider if you have questions about your diagnosis or injury.
How Are All The Parts Of The Nervous System Connected
The wires of the nervous system are called . The brain and the spinal cord contain billions of neurons. They send and receive information throughout your body.
All kinds of messages travel in neurons. If you touch a hot stove, neurons send a pain message from your finger to your brain. Your brain then sends a message, via neurons, through your spinal cord and nerves to the muscles in your arm to pull your hand away. Neurons can send signals to thousands of other neurons at a rate of up to 270 miles per hour.
The point of connection between two neurons is called a from the Greek word “synaptein” meaning to fasten together. Chemical and/or electric signals flow across this connection to communicate with the brain.
We don’t really know how all parts of the brain work together. Scientists who study the brain, called , are doing experiments every day to try to solve these and other mysteries of the brain.
- Your brain contains approximately 100 billion neurons. Each neuron links to as many as 10,000 other neurons.
- If you could line up all the neurons in your body end to end, they would stretch almost 600 miles.
- More than 30,000 neurons can fit on the head of a pin.
You can take a look at some neurons at this online Gallery of Neurons.
Find out more at the Science Trek Nervous System site.
Strategy 1: Repeatedly Activating Your Neurons
Because the connections between your neurons need to be activated multiple times to become stronger and more efficient, a first and crucial strategy is to repeatedly activate them. This means that to learn arithmetic tables for instance, you have to practice it repeatedly, to establish the trail between your neurons. As a baby, you were not able to speak and walk within 1 day: you practiced a lot. However, it is important to note that only reading or glancing at your arithmetic tables will not be that helpful in connecting your neurons. You might also find it quite disengaging and boring. To create the connections between your neurons, you need to retrieve the arithmetic tables from your memory. In other words, you have to try recall the answer yourself to activate your connections. We are not saying that this is easy to do! However, scientists think that this struggle improves learning because the challenge is an indication that you are building new connections. Remember, learning something new is like hiking in a bush with no designated trail, you will probably walk slowly at first, but if you keep hiking, trails will start forming and eventually you will be walking on well-beaten tracks. Besides, when you do try to recall what you have learned and make a mistake, it can help you identify gaps in your learning and give you an indication of which trail still needs to be worked on.
Your Brain And Your Senses
Some areas of the cerebral cortex are important for thinking and reasoning, some for voluntary movements and speech. There are also areas for your senses. You see, hear, smell, taste and feel because of your brain. Your sense organs fingers, ears, eyes, nose, and tongue gather information about your surroundings and send this information through sensory neurons to special areas in the cerebral cortex. Visit Lobes of the Brain to take a closer look at where the different kinds of sensory signals go to in the cerebral cortex.
Some parts of the body such as your hands and lips have more sensory neurons than other parts. They are for detecting touch, pressure, roughness, smoothness, dry, wet, cold, hot, and pain. This body map, called an , shows you how much of the cerebral cortex is responsible for processing touch receptor information. And here’s some additional information about your senses.
Our Science TrekFive Senses site has more information.
Right Brain Left Brain
The cerebrum is divided into two halves: the right and left hemispheres They are joined by a bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum that transmits messages from one side to the other. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. If a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, your left arm or leg may be weak or paralyzed.
Not all functions of the hemispheres are shared. In general, the left hemisphere controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right hemisphere controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left hemisphere is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people.
Virus Responsible For Human Consciousness
An ancient virus infected people long ago, and this invader left behind its genetic code in our DNA. This year, researchers found that snippets of that ancient viral DNA play a vital role in the communication among brain cells that’s required for higher-order thinking.
It’s not uncommon for humans to carry around snippets of viral genetic code; around 40 percent to 80 percent of the human genome consists of genes left behind by viruses.
In the study this year, the researchers found that a viral gene called Arc packages up other genetic information and sends it off from one nerve cell to the next. This gene also helps cells reorganize over time. What’s more, problems with the Arc gene tend to occur in people who have autism or other neural disorders.
Researchers now hope to figure out the exact mechanism by which the Arc gene got into our genome and what exactly it’s telling our brain cells.
What Happens In The Brain During Depression
A lot. With depression, the amygdala is enlarged and hyperactive resulting in disturbance in sleep and activity patterns. This can also cause abnormal release of hormones and functionality that may also lead to further problems such as remission, comorbidity with another mental illness and other medical conditions such as heart disease.
A Second Brain In The Gut
Millions of brain cells live in the large intestine, and because these cells function without any instructions from the brain or spine, scientists sometimes refer to the mass of them as “the second brain.” But this mass also has a scientific name: the enteric nervous system. And a new study, done in mice, shows that the system is pretty smart; it can fire synchronized neurons to stimulate muscles and coordinate their activity so that it can do things like move feces out of the body.
The actual brain can also do this synchronize the firing of neurons in the early stages of brain development. This means that the neuron actions in the gut could be a “primordial property” from the first stages of the second brain’s evolution. Some scientists even hypothesize that the second brain evolved before the first and that this firing pattern comes from the earliest functioning brain in the body.
The Human Brain Contains Approximately One Hundred Billion Neurons
This is about the same as the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. These neurons are connected by trillions of connections, or synapses. Experts call this a neuron forest. Information runs between these neurons in your brain for everything we see, think, or do. These neurons move information at different speeds. The fastest speed for information to pass between neurons is about 250 mph. That being said, neurons only make up 10% of the brain.
What Are The Major Areas Of The Brain And What Do They Do
|The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain; the outer part is called the cerebral cortex.||The cerebellum is about the size of a pear.||The brain stem is located at the bottom of the brain, above the neck, where it connects the brain to the spinal cord.|
|Divided into 2 parts called the right and left .||Tucked under and behind the cerebrum.||Divided into three parts: Medulla, Pons, and Midbrain.|
|Responsible for: thinking, senses, producing and understanding language, memories, eating, emotions, body temperature, drinking, sleeping, hormones.||Controls muscle movement, balance, coordination.||Responsible for automatic survival functions such as breathing, heartbeat, and digestion, as well as such as sneezing, swallowing, and coughing.|