Monday, May 9, 2022

What Is Grey Matter In The Brain

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Is It Really That Simple

Grey and White Matter of the Brain â Spinal Cord | Lecturio

Not quite. Whilst the above division is physiologically accurate on a system level, there are a mix of cell types present in both gray and white matter.Gray matter also contains:

  • Neuropil a mix of dendrites, unmyelinated axons, and glia

White matter also contains:

  • Oligodendrocytes glial cells which produce myelin
  • Astrocytes

Cognition Memory And Brain Aging

A normal aging brain goes through a series of neuroanatomical and neurophysiological changes.3 By comparing the brains of healthy young and healthy elderly individuals, functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown loss of gray matter, across most brain regions, including cortex, cerebellum, hippocampus, amygdala, and nucleus accumbens. In addition, in the aging brain, we also see reduced levels of synaptic proteins and synaptic spines as well as reduced length of myelinated axons. An interesting study using deoxyribonucleic acid microarray technology investigated how gene expression varies in the frontal cortex of normal individual ranging from 26 to 106 years of age. The analysis of more than 11,000 genes revealed that 4% of these genes were significantly changed with age.24 The majority of these changes were related to genes involved in synaptic plasticity, vesicular transport, mitochondrial function, DNA repair and genes modulating inflammation, and oxidative stress pathways.25

Shanmugaraj Gowrishankar, … Shunmugiah Karutha Pandian, in, 2021

Studies On Gray Matter

Too much multitasking can affect your gray matter. In one of the first studies ever that correlates a direct link between the physical structure of the brain and behavior, multimedia multitasking has its impact on our social-emotional well-being as well as our overall cognition. Ryota Kanai and Kep Kee Loh from the University of Sussexs Sackler Center for Consciousness Sciencetook a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine and they looked at the brain structure of 75 adults who had previously answered questions about their media use such as computers, cell phones, TVs, and print media . People who reported using more devices had a lower grey matter density in their anterior cingulate cortex a part of the brain associated with emotional and cognitive processing.

Cortical gray matter loss in treatment-naïve and alcohol-dependent people. Most studies examine the impact of alcohol dependence on people who are already undergoing treatment- but not this study! The study found that there are cortical grey matter volume reductions- mostly in the parietal and prefrontal regions of the brain- in heavy drinkers . The volume loss wasnt tied with a family history of alcoholism nor with education which means that the loss is a direct effect of alcohol ingestion. The study found no difference in volume for white matter nor temporal lobe volume loss.

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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.

How Can We Improve Our White Or Grey Matter

gray matter vs white matter

The brain is not static. Just as a citys power lines need maintenance, and your computer gets slower over time until you upgrade, there are things you can do to benefit your brain matterboth white and grey.

  • Repairing White Matter After Injury: A brain injury can be severely debilitating but, depending on the injury, it doesnt have to be permanent. A common white matter injury is a spinal injury: if the white matter in the spinal cord is pinched or squashed, the information needed to move limbs doesnt get where it needs to go, leading to paralysis. As long as the neurons are healthy, the axons , can be repaired. Stimulating stem cells in the brain may be key in helping this repairing process.
  • Repairing Grey Matter After Injury: Grey matter injury is more common than white, as it lies on the outside of the brain. The neurons that make up grey matter are also vulnerable to a lack of oxygen. Grey matter injuries can be repaired through therapeutic means: like patients with partial paralysis learning how to walk again.
  • Improving White Matter: A recent study found that physical activity in children improved the microstructure of the white matter in their brain. MRI scans have also found that teenagers who practice martial arts, judo in this case, have improved white matter connectivity. Even older adults benefit from exercise, as increased white matter can stave off cognitive diseases like Alzheimers.

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White Matter And Grey Matter: Where And Why

White and grey matter extend all the way from the brain down into the spinal cord. Here, white matter takes up most of the outer layer, and the grey rests inside. Why?

Think of it as efficiency. If the spinal cord is responsible for bringing motor information from our brain to our body, the short connections of grey matter in the spine would have to reach further to send signals to the body to move.

However, since long axon tracts are on the outside layer, its much faster for signals to get to your motor neurons. These longer pathways on the outside layer help create fast signal transmission so you can react and move quickly. .

For all the attention on grey matter, it only makes up 40% of the brain. White matter actually dominates, at about 60%. Where grey matter gets the edge is in oxygen95 percent of the oxygen that goes to the brain goes right to the grey matter.

This may be because the grey matter handles things like higher processing and other cognitive functions, whereas white matter is greatly responsible for carrying electrical signalsa computer compared to a power supply.

Thats Enough To Circle Our Planet Four Times

7.There are somewhere between 80 & 100 billion neurons in the human brain.

8. The left hemisphere of the brain packs in almost 200 million more neurons than the right.

9. Neurons vary in size between 4 and 100 microns wide.

Grey & White Matters

10. Grey matter is the mass of neuronal cells that are involved in things like memory, speech and muscle control.

11. Despite often being described as grey matter, the brain of a living person has more of a pinkish hue.

12. Grey matter makes up 40% of brain matter.

13. While, white matter comprises the other 60%.

14. White matter gets its color from myelin, which insulates axons and increases the speed at which electrical impulses travel.

15. Men have less grey matter in their brains than women, but more white matter and cerebrospinal fluid.

16. Greater proportions of grey matter may account for superior performance on language tasks.

17. Grey matter is very important during physical activity because it allows you to think and move simultaneously.

18. Research suggests that regular exercise may lead to increased grey matter inside the hippocampus.

19. Myelination occurs during the learning process.

20. It allows you to develop skills, like drumming, over time. The more you practice, the more your myelin grows.

21. More than half of the brain, including myelin, is made of fat.

In honor of Valentines Day, check out your brain on love

Bigger isnt always better

26. At 2.71 lbs, Albert Einsteins brain was a bit smaller than average.

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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.

Physical Activities And Exercise:

01 Brain & Behavior – White and Grey Matter

Doing physical activities, yoga and exercises significantly increase your grey matter. Yoga helps you to synchronise your breathing and posture. This synchronisation helps the mind to calm down and concentrate. It increases the supply of blood to your brain thereby increasing the grey matter.

Aerobic exercises also have a direct relation to the amount of grey matter. A good amount of exercise contributes to making a bigger brain. A study published in 2006 found that aerobic exercises increase both the grey and the white matter. According to a study conducted by William Killgore, aerobic exercises lead to enhanced cognitive functions in children and elderly adults. The study also found that those who walked at least 72 blocks per week had significantly higher grey-matter volume.

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White Matter Grey Matter And Spinal Tracts

Together, the gray and white matter of your brain and spinal cord help form spinal tracts. These pathways send nerve signals from your brain to the rest of your body. Knowing the most common tracts can help you discern the source of your injury. Those tracts include:

  • Posterior tracts: These tracts, located at the back of your spinal cord, convey information from your skin about pressure, touch, and pain. They also help you position your body and space, so you can move according to your surroundings.
  • Spinothalamic tracts: These sensory tracts tell your brain about your body’s temperature and pain level.
  • Corticospinal tracts: These motor tracts send nerve signals from the brain, down the spinal cord, and into various skeletal muscles, enabling you to move.

Remember, being an informed patient can help you ask intelligent questions and select the best treatment options, so if you don’t understand what your doctor tells you about gray or white matter in the brain, don’t be afraid to speak up. Keep asking questions until it all makes sense every traumatic brain or spinal cord injury survivor has to learn to be a strong advocate and asking pointed questions can help you begin mastering the art of advocacy.

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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Grey Is The New White Not In The Brain

Figure 1: Reconstructed white matter fiber tracts of the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord. View through the mid-sagittal plane.Rendering is work of Thomas Schultz, using a modified version of the BioTensor application developed at the University of Utah. The dataset is courtesy of Gordon Kindlmann at the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute, University of Utah, and Andrew Alexander, W.M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behaviour, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Your Breakfast Can Increase Your Gray Matter Volume

Pin on TBI Life Coach

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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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.

Playing Action Video Games Increases Grey Matter Volume

Playing video game is a big controversy . Researchers observed playing certain types of action video games has its effect on gray matter volume . They found that playing action video games for 2 months for at least 30 min per day can significantly increase gray matter volume . AVG playing requires a high level of attention and hand-eye coordination. Scientists found that games that have complex 3D settings, feature quick-moving targets that appear in and out of the gamers view, involve large amounts of clutter and which require the gamers to make fast and accurate decision as well as switch between varying levels of and attention, can have positive impact on cognition. Exploring virtual environments help people to learn, remember, and even explore real-world environments. Video games could be therapeutically useful for patients with mental disorders in which brain regions are altered or reduced in size.

Scientists have demonstrated that with age brain structure can be altered upon prolonged exposure to novel environments and experience. The neural pathways and synapses can be changed by yoga, meditation, exercises, training and diets. This positive change can happen at the cellular level or at the level of cortical re-mapping.

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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.

Talk back

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.

Create routines

Keep items like your keys or phone in the same places, and do things in the same order.

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Comparison Of The Homogeneous Design And Designs With Gray And White Matter Segregation

What are grey matter and white matter in the human brain?

In order to determine the optimal design we need to compare local conduction delays in different designs combining gray and white matter. In general, this problem is difficult to solve analytically. Yet, when global connections that are intermixed with the gray matter take less volume than does local, i.e., 1, the perturbation theory approach allows us to compare local conduction delays in homogeneous design , in which gray matter and white matter are finely intermixed, to designs in which gray and white matter are segregated.

In HD, local and global connections are finely and uniformly intermixed . Then, according to Equation 14, the relative conduction delay increase due to the penetration of global axons of diameter D in the gray matter is given by

In HD, local and global connections are uniformly and finely intermixed. Inset shows a typical local network containing local axons and dendrites , and global axons that perforate gray matter. When the volume of global axons is small, the linear size of the network can be approximated as G1/3.

Theorem 1.

In the regime ND2 2, local conduction delays in the optimal segregated design and HD are equivalent. In the regime ND2 2, there is at least one segregated design with local delays less than those in HD.

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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.

Grey Matter Matters For Intellect

Intelligence linked to size of key brain regions.

Helen Pilcher

Size may matter after all, when it comes to IQ. A brain imaging study suggests that human intellect is based on the volume of grey matter in certain brain regions, challenging alternative views about the basis of intelligence.

Researchers have been trying to pinpoint the biological roots of intelligence for decades. More than 25 years ago, a weak correlation was found between IQ and overall brain size. Others have suggested that level of intelligence is due to the size of the frontal lobe.

Now, however, a common view is that more subtle characteristics are likely to be involved, such as the speed at which nerve impulses travel in the brain, or the number of neuronal connections present.

This study challenges that idea, suggesting that the volume of certain brain regions may have an effect after all.

Richard Haier from the University of California, Irvine, and colleagues used magnetic resonance imaging to measure the amount of grey matter in the brains of 47 adults, who also took standard IQ tests.

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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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