The Immune Response In The Brain Is Different From That In Skin
The immune response plays an essential role in any kind of repair after injury. In injured skin, immune cells will rush to the site of injury from the blood and help the resident immune cells clean up debris from dead cells. Once the clean up is done, the immune cells die and stop the fight. The brain has specialized resident immune cells as well, and they will become activated when they sense danger or damage. A common problem in the brain is that the activated immune cells often dont know when to stop fighting. If they continue to spit out toxic chemicals over long periods, they can cause more harm than good, by killing healthy neurons. This is why scientists are trying to understand what switches brain immune cells on and off and trying to figure out how they can modify the response of these immune cells, so the cells can be helpful rather than harmful .
The Opportunity Of Brain Muscle
IQ is not strictly fixed a majority of children will see their IQ scores change by more than 15 points, 2-3 times in their lives. For most children, these changes are somewhat random, based on good teachers, maturity patterns, environmental factors, etc.
But for a growing group of families, who have researched brain training programs, and are constantly aware of the cognitive impacts of their childs activities e.g., generally musical instruments are good, video games are bad the opportunity to impact the way a child learns through brain exercise is very real.
Why Your Brain Is Your Largest Sex Organ
During sex there are three prominent neurochemicals that are involved and each has a significant affect on your brain.
Dopamine: This chemical is present in men and women. Dopamine is a reward chemical in that it rewards people by saturating their brain with a feeling of exhilaration when that persons engages in the activity . Unfortunately, dopamine doesnt know the difference between positive and negative behaviors and so it rewards the brain for both types of actions, things such as acing a test or speeding. Dopamine is the chemical that is responsible for the addictive nature of sex. It keeps you wanting that next fix.
Oxytocin: This is found in the female and is the bonding chemical. When this is released, it increases her desire for touch and causes her to bond to the person she is in physical contact with. With intercourse and orgasm, oxytocin washes over the brain, causing her to want more sex with the person she is bonded with. Like dopamine, oxytocin doesnt discriminate. The result can be that a woman becomes bonded with someone she only thought would be a casual hookup.
Vasopressin:This is the male version of the bonding chemical and is the cause of the mans connection with the woman. Again, it is non-discriminatory and may result in an unintentional connection with a partner.
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What Is The Difference Between The Left And Right Brain Hemispheres
Your cerebrum divides into two halves: the left and right cerebral hemispheres. The two halves of the brain are connected by nerve fiber bundles called your corpus callosum. The right side of your cerebrum controls movement on the left side of your body and vice versa.
Your left brain hemisphere is often the dominant hemisphere but this doesnt apply to everyone. Most people who are right-handed are usually left hemisphere dominant. Some patients who are left-handed are right hemisphere is dominant. Typically, the dominant hemisphere is responsible for your speech and language functions. Your non-dominant is responsible for your spatial awareness and processing of what you see.
About 1 in 10 right-handed people and about 1 in 3 left-handed people have dominance in the right hemisphere. This means that their speech functions are mostly centered in the right side of their brains. Many times this is a normal variant but in some people with brain tumors or epilepsy, the dominance can be shifted through a process called brain plasticity.
Nerve Cells Have Trouble Regrowing Damaged Parts
Looking at the structure of a neuron, you will notice it has a cell body and several arms that it uses to connect and talk with other neurons . The really long arm that sends signals to other neurons is called axon, and axons can be really long. If an axon is damaged along its way to another cell, the damaged part of the axon will die , while the neuron itself may survive with a stump for an arm. The problem is neurons in the central nervous system have a hard time regrowing axons from stumps. Why do skin cells not have this problem? Skin cells are much simpler in structure. And because they can give birth to entirely new cells, they dont face the problem of having to repair parts of their cells.
- Figure 1
- Left: the structure of a brain cell. Note the branch-like arms that extend from the cell body . These arms receive incoming signals. The really long arm that extends to the bottom right is called the axon, which sends signals to a receiving cell. The axon is enveloped by a myelin sheath , which helps signals travel faster along the axon to the receiving cell. Right: when an axon gets injured, the end part dies off and leaves an axon stump. Stumps have a hard time to grow back after injury.
So, why do damaged neurons have trouble regrowing axons?
- Figure 2
- Growing axons looking for new target cells to connect with have a hard time in an injury environment. This is partly due to star-shaped support cells , which spit out chemicals . These chemicals stop axon growth.
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Gene And Protein Expression
Bioinformatics is a field of study that includes the creation and advancement of databases, and computational and statistical techniques, that can be used in studies of the human brain, particularly in the areas of gene and protein expression. Bioinformatics and studies in genomics, and functional genomics, generated the need for DNA annotation, a transcriptome technology, identifying genes, their locations and functions.GeneCards is a major database.
As of 2017, just under 20,000 protein-coding genes are seen to be expressed in the human, and some 400 of these genes are brain-specific. The data that has been provided on gene expression in the brain has fuelled further research into a number of disorders. The long term use of alcohol for example, has shown altered gene expression in the brain, and cell-type specific changes that may relate to alcohol use disorder. These changes have been noted in the synaptictranscriptome in the prefrontal cortex, and are seen as a factor causing the drive to alcohol dependence, and also to other substance abuses.
When Does The Brain Stop Developing
Most brain development happens between birth and your teenage years. But your brain continues developing throughout your 20s. Brain development typically peaks by middle age.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Your brain is an essential organ that allows you to perceive and interact with the world around you. It receives and interprets all the sensory information you encounter. A range of conditions can affect your brain. You can support your brain health by sleeping well, eating a healthy diet, exercising and making other healthy lifestyle choices. If you suspect that you or a loved one has symptoms related to a brain condition, speak with a healthcare provider.
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Is Your Brain A Muscle
No matter what you’re doing, your brain is almost always getting a workout.
School work. House work. Work work. Driving in traffic. Watching TV. Running errands. Playing a board game. Deciding what to eat for dinner. Keeping up with a conversation. Remembering where you parked your car.
You rely on your brain for, well, everything.
You lean on it so much that it’s no surprise that your brain feels like a muscle one you flex throughout the day.
Structure Of The Brain: An Overview
The brain is shaped like two fists standing side by side on a single wrist. The wrist is the brain stem, connecting the brain to the spinal column, and the fists constitute the left and right hemispheres of the largest part of the brain, the cerebrum. At the back of the brain, below the cerebrum, is the cerebellum. Within each of these parts are specific regions that control specialised functions. Lets take a look at each section in a bit more detail.
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Sex Brain And Bad Decisions
Understanding how these chemicals work can explain why people make bad decisions and helps us better understand the consequences. Often people jump into sex too soon. One reason for this is sex rewires the brain to make it easier to say yes to more sex. The part of the brain that regulates sexual restraint is weakened. They crave the release of dopamine. This helps explain why after a breakup, once a new relationship has begun it can progress quickly to a sexual relationship.
Another affect is that sex can keep people in bad relationships. Most of us know couples that stay in unhealthy, even abusive relationships and find ourselves asking why. Its the sex. The bonding chemicals create such a strong attachment, even if there is no other foundation for the relationship that they cant leave each other.
A third affect is that when a person engages in patterns of dating, having sex, breaking up finding a new partner, or just casually hooking up, that person potentially makes it more difficult to later bond with a spouse. By disrupting the function of the bonding chemicals, this pattern can break the circuits needed for long-term commitment. It becomes addicted to the sex without the emotional connection.
These affects can last a long time, affecting the persons ability to emotionally invest and be committed to future relationships.
The Geography Of Thought
Each cerebral hemisphere can be divided into sections, or lobes, each of which specializes in different functions. To understand each lobe and its specialty we will take a tour of the cerebral hemispheres, starting with the two frontal lobes , which lie directly behind the forehead. When you plan a schedule, imagine the future, or use reasoned arguments, these two lobes do much of the work. One of the ways the frontal lobes seem to do these things is by acting as short-term storage sites, allowing one idea to be kept in mind while other ideas are considered. In the rearmost portion of each frontal lobe is a motor area , which helps control voluntary movement. A nearby place on the left frontal lobe called Brocas area allows thoughts to be transformed into words.
When you enjoy a good mealthe taste, aroma, and texture of the foodtwo sections behind the frontal lobes called the parietal lobes are at work. The forward parts of these lobes, just behind the motor areas, are the primary sensory areas . These areas receive information about temperature, taste, touch, and movement from the rest of the body. Reading and arithmetic are also functions in the repertoire of each parietal lobe.
As you look at the words and pictures on this page, two areas at the back of the brain are at work. These lobes, called the occipital lobes , process images from the eyes and link that information with images stored in memory. Damage to the occipital lobes can cause blindness.
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The Cerebellum’s Balancing Act
Next up is the cerebellum. The cerebellum is at the back of the brain, below the cerebrum. It’s a lot smaller than the cerebrum. But it’s a very important part of the brain. It controls balance, movement, and coordination .
Because of your cerebellum, you can stand upright, keep your balance, and move around. Think about a surfer riding the waves on his board. What does he need most to stay balanced? The best surfboard? The coolest wetsuit? Nope he needs his cerebellum!
What Conditions Or Disorders Can Affect The Brain
About 1 in 6 people have some type of brain condition. There are many types of brain disorders and conditions that vary in severity, including:
- Alzheimers disease and dementia: Progressive loss of cognitive functions, such as memory, problem-solving or language.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis : A neuromuscular disorder where the nerve cells in your brain break down.
- Autism spectrum disorder : A developmental disorder that can affect your ability to communicate, regulate behavior or interpret social cues.
- Brain tumor: Irregular mass of cells that starts in your brain and grows uncontrollably.
- Epilepsy: A brain disorder that disrupts the activity of your brains nerve cells, leading to seizures.
- Parkinsons disease: A progressive nervous system disease that often starts with tremors .
- Stroke: An interruption of blood supply to your brain, either because of an artery blockage or artery rupture .
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What Are The Gray Essence And The White Essence Of The Brain
The gray matter is in the darkest/outer part of the brain and has a completely different meaning from the white matter in the lighter/inner part of the brain.
Gray matter is essentially a type of neural tissue associated with functions such as the intellect, mainly collecting information from the body’s sensory organs and from the various cells of the gray matter and then launching it in the right direction.
Therefore, as it is understood, the gray matter determines the speed of communication and intelligence.
White matter, on the other hand, is something completely different.
It is another type of nerve tissue however, in this case it affects the learning ability of the individual.
Every brain dysfunction has to do with the white matter, located on the outside of the gray matter , as well as in the brain hemispheres).
While gray matter appears to stop growing after a person reaches adulthood, white matter continues to grow until the fifth decade of life.
This proves that “training” the brain can bring significant benefits to the individual, as they grow older.
The Spinal Cord And Its Function
The spinal cord — which runs roughly 17 to 18 inches in length — begins in the brain and extends through an opening called the foramen magnum into the spinal canal, typically ending between the first and second lumbar vertebrae.
From this point, nerve roots reach through the lower end of the spinal cord and provide nerves to the bottom half of the body, including the legs, bowels, bladder, and sexual organs. Multiple membranes protect the spinal cord from harm, and the outermost one — known as the dura mater — is filled with cerebrospinal fluid responsible for cushioning and nourishing the spinal cord and nerve roots.
As for the spinal cord itself, it is comprised mostly of nerve tissue and serves as the medium through which messages are delivered to and from the brain to the rest of the body. Thirty-one pairs of spinal nerves run between the vertebrae and can be divided into motor roots and sensory roots, which are located at the front and back of the spinal cord, respectively.
As their names imply, these nerves are responsible for facilitating muscle movement and coordination as well as sensations throughout the body. As such, damage to the nerves and the spinal cord in general can have far-reaching effects on the bodys ability to function properly.
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How Much Does A Human Brain Weigh
The human brain weighs about 3 lbs. and makes up about 2% of a humans body weight. On average, male brains are about 10% larger than female brains, according to Northwestern Medicine in Illinois. The average male has a brain volume of nearly 78 cubic inches , while the average female brain has a volume of 69 cubic inches . The cerebrum, which is the main part of the brain located in the front area of the skull, makes up 85% of the brains weight.
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Does The Brain Have Muscle Tissue
There are no muscles in your actual brain or muscles to hold it into place, with one exception.
The arteries and arterioles bringing blood to your brain do, in fact, contain smooth muscle cells and elastic tissues. These structures are designed to regulate your brains blood flow and maintain blood pressure. Apart from that, your brain is composed of neurons.
Scientifically, its clear your brain is an organ, not a muscle.
And your brain doesnt exercise like a muscle either. However, it might be useful to use a metaphor for comparing your mind to a muscle.
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How Then Does The Brain Repair Itself
Learning about the limitations of neurons compared to skin cells, you may be disappointed that an organ as important as the brain seems to be unprepared for damaging events. The truth is, the central nervous system has an ingenious strategy to repair itself that is entirely different from the strategy used by other organs. The brain will never be the same as before the damage, but it will try to compensate for its losses. Neurons in the brain are able to change their connections with each other. This process is called plasticity, and it helps the brain to adapt to the loss of neurons. Forget for a moment about dying cells, the responsibility for plasticity lies entirely with the surviving cells. How does this work?
- Figure 3
- In response to an injury, a brain cell can adapt by growing new arms and also by increasing or decreasing the strength of existing connections .