What Are Gray Matters
The central nervous system is made up of two kinds of tissue: gray matter and white matter. Gray matters are the darker tissue of the brain and spinal cord, consisting mainly of nerve cell bodies and branching dendrites. Gray matters look like ash-gray under a microscope. These are composed of neurons cell bodies and synapses, as well as the supporting network of glia that help keep neurons alive. The color difference ;between gray
matter and white matter arises mainly from the whiteness of myelin. In living brain, gray matter actually has a gray-brown color which comes from capillary blood vessels and neuronal cell bodies.;Ratio of the volume of gray-matter to white-matter in the cerebral hemipheres is ;about 1.3.
The Distribution Of The Gray Matter
The areas of the brain and spinal cord that are formed by gray matter do not form a homogeneous set, but are distributed and in some cases there is white matter between them.;However, in most cases these areas are large enough that they can easily be distinguished with the naked eye.
In the marrow, gray matter is found in the central and lateral part;, but in the brain is more distributed.
The cerebral cortex, for example, is composed of gray matter;, but the same is true of the;;basal ganglia;, which are located below, with the deepest and most superficial part of the;;cerebellum;and with many other scattered areas, such as the;;thalamus;and the;;hypothalamus;.
Significance Of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Of The Brain
One imaging technique used in studying the brain is magnetic resonance imaging . This procedure employs radio waves and powerful magnets to produce three-dimensional anatomical images.
MRI is a non-invasive way of diagnosing and detecting diseases and monitoring treatment. According to an article published in the National Institutes of Health, MRI provides more explicit and detailed images of the brain, the spinal cord, nerves, tendons, and ligaments compared to computed tomography scans and X-rays.
A study suggested that tissue clustering in MRI analysis might pose possible advantages due to its partial volume effects, accountability, and simplicity.
Moreover, this MRI analysis method provides radiologists the flexibility to monitor and analyze specific brain regions.
A functional MRI can determine specific parts of the brain and the location where certain bodily functions, like memory, ensue. This imaging technique can also evaluate the effects of stroke and examine each part of the brain and its functional anatomy.
An fMRI procedures abilityto determine the precise location of the brains functional center can aid physicians in planning treatments and surgeries for a specific brain condition or disorder.
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What Might A Gray Matter Nucleus Be Located
It consists of: neuronal cell bodies, dendrites, glial cells, unmyelinated axons, capillaries and synapses. It makes up the cortex of the brain, cerebellum and brainstem and is located inside the spinal cord. Thus, grey matter nuclei can be found alongside vertebral column, within the brain and spinal cord.
White Matter In Psychiatric Disease
Certain conditions have long been associated with damage to the myelin sheath. For instance, the immune systems of individuals with Guillain-Barré syndrome and multiple sclerosis attack myelin, causing a gradually worsening weakness that can end in paralysis.
But more recently, changes in myelin have been linked to a number of psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia, major depression, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimers disease, dyslexia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Tourettes. White matter has even been implicated in stuttering and tone deafness.
One of the most studied psychiatric conditions in relation to white matter is schizophrenia. One
of oligodendrocytes in some regions of the brain.
In fact, more recently, it has been shown that white matter tracts across the majority of the brain are disrupted in schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia tends to develop during adolescence, a time when the forebrain is finally being given its myelin coating. Some scientists believe that this might be more than a coincidence.
Whether these changes are the cause of the condition or a consequence of the abnormal brain function is yet to be understood, but it is probably an intertwined two-way path. Evidence of this came in a paper published in 2007 by Dr. Gabriel Corfas. He showed that disrupting the genetic control of oligodendrocytes could produce striking behavioral changes similar to those seen in schizophrenia.
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The Grey Matter Of The Hippocampus Part Of The Brain Is Best Known For Its Association With Learning Skills And Memory Capabilities But It Is Also Known For Its Connection To Self
Basic activities done regularly in only a few weeks of time can increase your IQ and help you to feel more psychologically and physically at peace.The discovery of neuroplasticity, the brain can change and reorganize itself, is revolutionizing the treatment of stroke patients, chronic pain sufferers, those with neurological disorders and by helping to ward off cognitive decline due to age-related issues.
What Is White Matter
White matter areas of the brain mainly consist of myelinated axons, which are long relays that extend out from the soma, and which are whiteish in color due to the relatively high lipid fat content of the myelin protein that sheathes them, These form connections between brain cells, and white matter is typically distributed into bundles called tracts.
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Can You Change The Volume Of Gray Matter In Your Brain
Several interesting studies have been conducted on the amount of gray matter in your brain. One showed a correlation between speaking more than one language and a higher amount of gray matter in the brain. This seems to reinforce previous research findings that demonstrate a protective benefit against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s in people who are multi-lingual.
A second study concluded that higher levels of physical activity and cardiovascular fitness levels were correlated with increases in the volume of gray matter in the brain.
A third study noted an increase in the density of gray matter in people who participated once a week in eight sessions of mindfulness meditation trainings. While the number of participants was small at 17, the resulting increase in gray matter thickness was significant.
Tips To Help Manage Cognitive Challenges
Make a note of it
Set reminders, keep notes, and record messages to yourself on your phone. Or leave sticky notes for yourself around the house, office, or anywhere else you need them.
Manage time wisely
Do the most mentally demanding tasks when your brain is the least foggy. Break big tasks in to small, easy-to-achieve chunks. Give yourself more time to complete tasks for days when you arent at your best. If youre tired or cant focus, chill for a while. Cut out distractions like TV in the background.
If your mind wanders during conversations, start repeating a small part of what the person just said. I may seem weird at first, but youll get used to it. And theyll love it that youre paying attention.
Play mind games
If you have trouble with names, make visual and verbal associations, like picturing a crown on someone named Mr. King.
Keep items like your keys or phone in the same places, and do things in the same order.
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What Is White Grey Matter
Grey matter is distinguished from white matter in that it contains numerous cell bodies and relatively few myelinated axons, while white matter contains relatively few cell bodies and is composed chiefly of long-range myelinated axons. The colour difference arises mainly from the whiteness of myelin.
Whether You Are Looking To Increase Your Brain Functioning Or Preserve Your Cognitive Abilities Here Are Some Activities To Consider Adding To Your Weekly Routine To Increase Grey Matter:
1) Embrace the Idea that the Brain Can Grow
This might seem like a silly suggestion, but it needs to be said. Children and young adults have the ability to learn skills faster and this often keeps adults from attempting more difficult feats. You are capable of learning a new language or learning to play an instrument in your older age. You are capable of evolving your behavioral habits. It begins with changing your mindset.
Studies have shown mediation, particularly compassion mediation, increases neural activity and grey matter thickness. Meditation also puts you in beneficial brainwave patterns alpha, theta, delta a myriad of benefits manifest including super creativity, idea generation, enhanced cognitive abilities and overall intellectual capacity for growth.
3) Play Brain Games
Puzzles and Memory Games like Sudoku or other brain games will activate the mind by forcing us in a focused conscious state. This is the best way to increase grey matter via games.
4) Play Video Games
A recent study at University of Rochester, U.S., confirmed a link between 1st person video games and expanded visual awareness in the real world a building block for the IQ. The ability to take in visual cues with speed and accuracy is invaluable.
5) Cardiovascular Exercise
6) Proper Nutrition
7) Learn a New Skill
8) Use Your Imagination
9) Relinquish a Bad Habits
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Unlocking Your Brain: White Matter Vs Grey Matter
Youre probably familiar with grey matter, its a popular term in pop culture, but its lesser-known sibling white matter is just as interestingand may be just as important. The left and the right side of the brain are different. We only use 10% of the brain. Alcohol kills brain cells. Too much TV will rot your brain.;
Did you spot the brain myths in that first paragraph?; We hear a lot about the brain, but how much do we really know about the mysterious organ that makes us who we are? There are a lot of myths about the brain, and the insidious 10% is the worst of the lot, but weve learned a lot about how the brain works, especially in the last few .
Your Breakfast Can Increase Your Gray Matter Volume
The kids who had rice for breakfast showed higher grey-matter volumes than those who had bread. Studies suggests that breakfast staple type affects brain gray and white matter volumes and cognitive function in healthy children; therefore, a diet of optimal nutrition is important for brain maturation during childhood and adolescence.
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Alzheimer’s And White Matter
Some research using imaging studies has found abnormalities in people’s white matter prior to the development of Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.
Research has also demonstrated the presence of white matter lesions prior to mild cognitive impairment, a condition that carries an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Your Brain Is Pretty Smart But Can Make Mistakes
Brains are pretty amazing organs, but being part of humans, who are by nature fallible, brains by extension are also prone to error.
Some of the most common ways our brains fail us is through inaccurately interpreting visual information. Take a look at this first image shown in this article. Do the colors in A and B look the same? They dont, but they are. This is just one of the many ways our brains dont quite get things right.
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The Role Of These Areas
Unlike what white matter does, where myelin causes the nerve impulses to be transmitted rapidly by the axons, gray matter can not make the information flowing through it go so fast.;The main function of these zones is not to make electricity pass by quickly;, but has to do with the processing of information, whatever the type.
As the content of the information processed in the areas of gray matter is very diverse, the effects of a decrease or increase of this substance are also varied.;That is why injuries in these areas depend on the type of structure they affect.;However, no part of gray matter can work without the help of white matter, since they need to be connected to each other to function properly.
As for the gray matter of the spinal cord,;it is responsible for acting as a directory of information;, that is, where it is decided what information enters and leaves the nerves of the peripheral nervous system and what information should travel up or down ;the spinal cord.;In addition, there are some theories about memory according to which memories are stored chemically within the neuronal sums, much more abundant in this type of brain tissue.
How Does The Brain Work
The brain sends and receives chemical and electrical signals throughout the body. Different signals control different processes, and your brain interprets each. Some make you feel tired, for example, while others make you feel pain.
Some messages are kept within the brain, while others are relayed through the spine and across the bodys vast network of nerves to distant extremities. To do this, the central nervous system relies on billions of neurons .
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Where Is The White Matter Located
Axon tracts that represent the white matter are mostly found under the gray matter regions. This means they are located in deeper areas of the cerebellum and cerebrum.
In other cases, for example, the basal ganglia, the grey matter is embedded in the white matter. When it comes to the brain ventricles filled with fluid, they are also surrounded by white matter.
It is exceptionally interesting to take a look at the spinal cord and the organization of the white and gray matter in this region. Namely, the gray matter forms a butterfly-like structure and it is covered with the white matter.
Can Seizures Injure The Brain
Brain damage happens when nerve cells in the brain are damaged or destroyed. Depending on the part of the brain thats impacted, damage can lead to a variety of different physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.
Most types of seizures last only a short amount of time and do not lead to damage to neurons. However, experiencing a prolonged seizure can cause injury.
These types of seizures are called status epilepticus. Permanent neurological damage can happen after about 30 minutes of status epilepticus due to prolonged abnormal electrical activity in the affected area of the brain.
Status epilepticus is a medical emergency. Its a good rule of thumb to treat any seizure that lasts over 5 minutes as status epilepticus and call 911 or your local emergency number.
While most seizures do not cause damage to the brain, some may lead to changes that may impact brain structure or cognitive functions. Below, well look at some of the research into this topic.
type of focal epilepsy in adults.
Individuals with temporal lobe epilepsy often have problems with memory and other cognitive functions. Additionally, in about one-third of people with temporal lobe epilepsy, seizures do not resolve after starting antiseizure medications.
Below, well touch on some of the research into seizures and the brain, much of it focusing on temporal lobe epilepsy. Then, in the next section, well cover some of the ongoing questions related to this topic.
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Build A Better Brain: How To Grow Grey And White Matter
Dr. Greg Wells
Optimizing the functioning and growth of your brain is essential to your performance and health. In particular, its important to understand the role of two kinds of tissues white matter and grey matter and how you can make them grow. You can see the different brain tissues in this MRI image:
Grey matter is the part of your brain that processes information and contains all of the neuronal cells in your brain. For everything from emotion to sensory perception and memory, grey matter is where the action takes place. White matter is the part of your brain that connects all of the grey matter nodes together.
We can use another type of MR imaging to see the white matter tracts in the brain and how they connect the different brain regions together:
Its a lighter colour because there is myelin protecting all of the nerves there, like bark on a tree. Heres a CGI image of a neuron with myelin sheathing around the axon that connects the neurons in the brain:
If your brain were a transit system, the grey matter would be the stations and the white matter would be the tracks. You can improve the functioning of your brain by bulking up the processing centres and improving the efficiency of transmission between nodes. Basically, you can enable the trains of your mental transit system to hold more, travel faster and leave more often.
Heres how to do it.
What Is Grey Matter And White Matter In Your Brain
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Does Drinking Too Much Shrink Your Brain
This cross-sectional study found people who had more than 14 drinks per week had an average 1.6 percent reduction in the ratio of brain volume to skull size compared to people who didnt drink. In other words, brain volume decreased .
Seizures And Memory Networks
2016 study in rats looked at how seizure-like activity impacted memory consolidation. Memory function can be affected in some types of epilepsy, including temporal lobe epilepsy.
Memory consolidation normally happens during sleep and involves small ripples of activity in the hippocampus, the area of the brain concerned with memory.
These ripples can be followed by activity in the prefrontal cortex, an area involved in higher-level cognitive functions.
In people with temporal lobe epilepsy, short bursts of electrical activity called IEDs can happen between seizures. The researchers wanted to see if these abnormal bursts of electrical activity impacted memory in rats. They found that:
- Stimulating IEDs in rats led to impaired memory in a maze-solving activity.
- The effect on memory increased with the amount of IEDs that a rat experienced.
- IEDs beginning in the hippocampus were followed by electrical activity in the prefrontal cortex. This happened while the rats were both asleep and awake.
- A similar pattern of activity was seen when observing 4 individuals with epilepsy and IEDs.
The researchers believe that IEDs can disrupt normal signaling for memory consolidation. In short, IEDs from the hippocampus may impact how the prefrontal cortex responds to signaling from this area, potentially affecting memory.
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