Saturday, May 14, 2022

Is The Nose Connected To The Brain

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Anatomy And The Human Blockhead

The Nose for Neurosurgeons

According to the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, performer Melvin Burkhart invented the trick known as the human blockhead. The term comes from the name he used for his act. . It relies on the structure of the human skull. The skull is a collection of 22 bones, most of which are fused together at joints called sutures. These fused bones form a covering that protects your brain. Although much of the skull looks like one solid piece, it’s also full of holes and spaces. These include the sinuses, the eye sockets and the foramen magnum, where the brain stem exits the skull.

The physical features in a person’s face are the result of the way skin, fat and muscle tissue lie over this bony structure. An exception is the human nose. The external portion of the nose is mostly cartilage and connective tissue covered with skin. Hair and mucous line the nose and protect the interior nasal passageways from dust, debris and other foreign substances.

The external portion of the nose is a little deceptive. Two nostrils appear to lead almost straight up into the nasal passageway. In reality, the nasal cavity, which connects the nose to the throat, leads almost straight back. Its ceiling is approximately even with the top of the nose, just below the eyes. Its floor tends to be almost level with thealar cartilage, which forms the openings for the nostrils.

How The Sinus Infection Spreads To The Brain

Although there are various barriers that protect the brain from various pathogens, sometimes bacteria can pass through. The reason is that the space between the sinuses and the brain is very less making it easy for the pathogens to spread. If the infection spreads and infects the brain, it can lead to swelling, seizures, vomiting and abnormal mental health.

Hence, for people looking for the answer to the question can sinusitis lead to brain infection- YES, it can. But remember, only in rare instances this occurs. The likelihood of a patient dying from this condition is very low.

Typical Structure Of A Nerve Cell

A nerve cell consists of a large cell body and nerve fibersone elongated extension for sending impulses and usually many branches for receiving impulses.

Each large axon is surrounded by oligodendrocytes in the brain and spinal cord and by Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system. The membranes of these cells consist of a fat called myelin. The membranes are wrapped tightly around the axon, forming a multilayered sheath. This myelin sheath resembles insulation, such as that around an electrical wire. Nerve impulses travel much faster in nerves with a myelin sheath than in those without one.

If the myelin sheath of a nerve is damaged, nerve transmission slows or stops. The myelin sheath may be damaged by various conditions that damage the brain or peripheral nerves including

  • Multiple sclerosis

Nerves that connect the spinal cord with other parts of the body are called spinal nerves. The brain communicates with most of the body through the spinal nerves. There are 31 pairs of them, located at intervals along the length of the spinal cord . Sometimes these problems can… read more ). Several cranial nerves and most spinal nerves are involved in both the somatic and autonomic parts of the peripheral nervous system.

Spinal nerves emerge from the spinal cord through spaces between the vertebrae. Each nerve emerges as two short branches : one at the front of the spinal cord and one at the back.

There are two major nerve plexuses:

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Your Nose Shapes The Sound Of Your Voice

What we hear when people speak and sing is in large part related to the resonating structures of the throat and nose.

Your voice is produced in the larynx but that sound is really a buzzing sound. The richness of the sound is determined by how the sound is processed above the larynx, which occurs in your nose and throat.

According to Dr. Benninger, this is the same principle that separates a grand piano from a childs toy piano. The nasal voice we hear in someone with a cold and allergies is due to a loss of this nasal resonation since air cant pass through the nose.

Experiment : Electrical Stimulation Aimed At Altering The Perception Of Odor

The Nose Knows If Your Brain Is OK

In this experiment, we test the hypothesis that electrical stimulation delivered to the olfactory mucosa concurrent with odor stimulation will alter odor perception.

Subjects, Odorants, and Stimulation

In the first of two paradigms with odor, a total of 16 subjects participated in different sessions with the pleasant smelling pure molecule 2-phenylethanol , and two complex odorants a pleasant smelling chocolate odor and an unpleasant smelling manure odor . In a second paradigm, 15 subjects participated in an experiment where each trial contained a binary mixture of PEA and manure odor. The odorants were delivered into the stimulated nostril using a computer-controlled air-dilution olfactometer that embedded the odorant pulse within a constant stream of clean air at 5.5 L per min, 80% humidity, 37°C. Electrical stimulation was as before, using a stimulating electrode placed on the ventral surface of the middle turbinate and a reference electrode placed on the forehead, in order to deliver a continuous 2-Hz sine wave. Current amplitude was individually set for each participant by first delivering incremental currents until a sensation of any kind was reported, and then reverting to the highest yet un-sensed current. This assured the use of the highest possible current yet without awareness for the stimulation process. The resulting average current applied was 200 µA .

Procedures

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Your Nose And Sinuses Are A Powerful Duo

Sinuses also play a part of the resonance in your voice.

Its hard to talk about the nose without mentioning the sinuses, which have a number of important and positive roles, according to Dr. Benninger.

Your sinuses are air-filled structures in your head that make your head lighter and probably played an important role in allowing us to become upright. They also serve as air cushion shock absorbers that help protect your brain and eyes.

The partnership between your nose and sinuses help control the amount of nitric oxide in your body and in your lungs. They also play a huge role in your immune functionality.

When it comes to your nose, theres a lot of amazing information to think about, Dr. Benninger says, But next time you look in a mirror, you may want to consider a new respect for the incredible and only one youve got.

The Vascular System Of The Eye

There are no blood vessels in the cornea or the lens of the eyebecause, of course, blood is not clear and light would not pass throughit well. The cornea and the lens are fed oxygen and other nutrientsthrough the aqueous humor and even through the tears. At the junctionwhere the sclera becomes transparent and becomes the cornea, there isthe ciliary body. This structure feeds the aqueous humor with needednutrients, in the area between the iris and the lens. This newlyrefreshed aqueous humor streams gently out the opening in the iris to the front cavity behind the cornea. Aqueous humor exhaustedof nutrients becomes cloudy, and this is drained through the canal ofSchlemm, leading ultimately to a vein at the rear of the eye. Failureof the canal of Schlemm causes the aqueous humor to become more andmore cloudy, a condition called glaucoma.

At the very rear of the eyeball there are four main arteries andmany more smaller veins bringing nutrients to the eye and carrying awaywaste products. A layer behind the retina, the choroid membrane, is afabric of interconnected blood vessels and connective tissues, smallerthan a postage stamp. This is an extraordinary membrane: At no placeelse in the body is there such a concentration of vessels and bloodflow. Physiologists speculate the choroid membrane not only bringsnutrients to the tissues of the eye, but may also control thetemperature at the back of the eye and prevent overheating of theretina by brilliant illumination.

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Overview Of Smell And Taste Disorders

, MD, Montefiore Medical Center, The University Hospital of Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Because disorders of smell and taste are rarely life threatening, they may not receive close medical attention. Yet, these disorders can be frustrating because they can affect the ability to enjoy food and drink and to appreciate pleasant aromas. They can also interfere with the ability to notice potentially harmful chemicals and gases and thus may have serious consequences. Occasionally, impairment of smell and taste is due to a serious disorder, such as a tumor.

Smell and taste are closely linked. The taste buds of the tongue identify taste, and the nerves in the nose identify smell. Both sensations are communicated to the brain, which integrates the information so that flavors can be recognized and appreciated. Some tastessuch as salty, bitter, sweet, and sourcan be recognized without the sense of smell. However, more complex flavors require both taste and smell sensations to be recognized.

A partial loss of smell and complete loss of smell are the most common disorders of smell and taste. Because distinguishing one flavor from another is based largely on smell, people often first notice that their ability to smell is reduced when their food seems tasteless.

Your Nose Humidifies The Air You Breathe

What do the insides of our nose look like? | Class 4 I Learn with BYJU’S

Your nose processes the air you breathe, preparing it for your lungs and throat which do not tolerate dry air well.

As inhaled air passes through your nose, its moisturized and humidified thanks to a multiple-layer air pathway with three sets of turbinates . These are long bony structures covered with a layer of tissue that expand and contract.

This path is where drainage and moisture is regulated. If you have a dry throat, it means the air in this passageway may not have been humidified.

This is also the place where the tone of your voice is shaped as air passes through and the passage expands or contracts.

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The Science Behind Aromatherapy: Nose To Brain Connection

SNIFFING DOWN MEMORY LANE

Did you ever wonder why the smell of freshly cut grass or baking chocolate chip cookies or forgotten damp gym clothes for that matter sends memories of childhood flooding back to you faster than you got that parking ticket?

When odor molecules reach the upper nasal passage, a lining of nerve cells are triggered. The nerve cells send electrical impulses to the olfactory bulb in our brain. The olfactory bulb then transmits impulses to the amygdala and other parts of our limbic system. The limbic system is our emotional control center. I call it headquarters for our reactions.

Emotional Connections with Smell

Scents can evoke memories and emotions before we consciously think about it. Our sense of smell is the only sense that does not have an editing team to make conscious decisions. Our senses of sight, touch, hearing, and taste all pass information through our thalamus in the brain, which relays messages to our cerebral cortex. This allows our thought center to participate in our response.

When we smell essential oils, the molecules are tapping on the door of our limbic system. Remember- the limbic system is a powerful mediator of emotions? When the nasal lining is greeted by pleasant scents, we can have profound physiological and psychological benefits.

The Nose to Brain Connection

The power of this is mindboggling! Our nose is the gateway nature handles the rest. Happy diffusing!

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I carried to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had let soften a bit of madeleine. But at the very instant when the mouthful of tea mixed with cake crumbs touched my palate, I quivered, attentive to the extraordinary thing that was happening inside me.

Its a seminal passage in literature, so famous in fact, that it has its own name: the Proustian moment a sensory experience that triggers a rush of memories often long past, or even seemingly forgotten. For French author Marcel Proust, who penned the legendary lines in his 1913 novel, À la recherche du temps perdu, it was the soupçon of cake in tea that sent his mind reeling.

But according to a biologist and an olfactory branding specialist Wednesday, it was the nose that was really at work.

This should not be surprising, as neuroscience makes clear. Smell and memory seem to be so closely linked because of the brains anatomy, said Harvards Venkatesh Murthy, Raymond Leo Erikson Life Sciences Professor and chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Murthy walked the audience through the science early in the panel discussion Olfaction in Science and Society, sponsored by the Harvard Museum of Natural History in collaboration with the Harvard Brain Science Initiative.

But, as with Proust, taste plays a role, too, said Murthy, whose lab explores the neural and algorithmic basis of odor-guided behaviors in terrestrial animals.

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Your Nose Protects You Through Smell

High in your nose are a large number of nerve cells that detect odors. In order to smell, the air we breathe must be pulled all the way up to come in contact with these nerves.

Smell plays a key role in taste. We have four primary tastes: bitter, sour, sweet and salty. All of the refinements in taste are related to smell. Thats why people feel that food is tasteless when their ability to smell is decreased.

Smell and taste are necessary for safety. We need our smell to detect smoke, spoiled food, and some toxic poisons or gases, Dr. Benninger says.

When we have a cold or allergies, its hard for the air to get to these receptors, so people notice a decreased ability to smell.

Those who have completely lost their sense of smell need to have alarms for these gases and must be pay closer attention to what they eat.

Acute Sinusitis Care Tips

Your Nose Is Connected to the Memory Center of Your Brain ...

Try moist heat or steam. You can make a steam inhaler by putting hot water in a bowl and inhaling the steam. To do this:

  • Keep at least 8 inches away from the water so that you dont burn yourself.
  • Inhale for about 2 minutes.
  • Create an enclosed space for the moist, warm air to collect by draping a towel over your head as you lean over the bowl.
  • You can also buy a vaporizer, which creates steam from heat.

    Other tips to manage symptoms:

    • Take over-the-counter pain medication to ease headaches.
    • Try OTC drugs such as guaifenesin that thins your mucus, which can help to pass the mucus and lessen congestion.
    • Try acupuncture theres some evidence that its useful for sinus-related symptoms.

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    The Neural System Of The Eye

    At the rear of the eyeball is the retina. This is the transducingdevice that generates neural impulses from light, making the retinafunctionally analogous to the organ of Corti in the inner ear.

    The optic nerve runs through the sclera and the choroid membrane andconnects to the retina slightly off-center andbelow the center of the retina. This point is called the optic disk, oroptic papilla. The eye is blind at the optic disk there is a point inthe field of view of each eye where we cannot see. So why do we not seea black dot? The visual system in the brain stretches and connectswhats around the blind spot, filling it in, so we arent aware of itat all. This facility, the stuff of science fiction, is soft-wired its an illusion in the brain and not a structure in the eye.

    The visual cortex is at the very rear of the brain, in the center.Were the brain a VW beetle, the visual cortex would be the rear bumper.It is about 3 mm in thickness. Here, visual impulses are combined intoshape, color, brightness and depth.

    Are Your Recurring Nosebleeds Making You Fear That This Means Either A Current Or Future Brain Aneurysm

    A brain aneurysm that ruptures is called a hemorrhagic stroke.

    We all get occasional nosebleeds that usually we can connect to dry air, hard blowing and even picking the nose.

    But a nosebleed that keeps happening in the absence of these triggers can become worrisome and make people wonder if this symptom indicates a current or future brain aneurysm.

    This is a misconception, begins Atif Zafar, MD, director of the stroke program at University of New Mexico Hospital and assistant professor of Stroke/Neurology at the UNM School of Medicine.

    Here is why this misconception got generated decades ago, continues Dr. Zafar.

    Patients with uncontrolled hypertension are at higher risk of having nosebleeds.

    I know of many young patients who were diagnosed with hypertension after being worked up for recurring nosebleeds.

    Smoking can also be associated with dryness-triggered nosebleeds.

    Now, hypertension and smoking are the two most common etiologies associated with brain aneurysm formation and its rupture.

    The third factor is family history or genetic predisposition .

    When we counsel patients with brain aneurysm family history, smoking and hypertension are the three things we talk about.

    Since we cannot do anything about the genes yet, we strongly recommend aborting smoking and aggressively managing high blood pressure to minimize the risk associated with aneurysmal bleed or aneurysmal progression.

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    How To Prevent Sinus Infection From Spreading To The Brain

    In order to prevent the infection from reaching the brain, follow the general guidelines of hygiene. Also, get in touch with an ENT doctor without any further delay. Some of the preventive measures to keep in mind are-

    • Wash the hands with soap and water regularly.
    • Do not touch the eyes, nose and mouth after sneezing
    • Pay attention to the symptoms
    • Avoid taking antibiotics regularly to prevent the bacteria from getting drug-resistant

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