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What Is The Little Brain

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How To Strengthen Grey Matter

Little Things Matter: The Impact of Toxins on the Developing Brain

For those who have experienced damage to their grey mater, perhaps from trauma, young infants and children often have the better outcomes than adults.

This is because their neural systems are still developing and are more adaptable than adultâs.

Although there may not be any proven treatments for grey matter diseases such as Alzheimerâs and Parkinsonâs disease, there are some lifestyle changes that could be adopted to help keep grey matter strengthened and potentially lower the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases:

  • Meditation and mindfulnessPhysical activity, specifically aerobic exercise
  • Games which can stimulate problem-solving, attention and creativity
  • Maintaining an uninterrupted sleeping pattern
  • Eating a healthy diet with plenty of vitamins
  • Avoiding alcohol and other mind-altering substances
  • Wearing a helmet when completing activities such as cycling so as to avoid damage to the brain
  • Hobbies which can train fine motor skills such as calligraphy, knitting, or painting
  • Learning new skills or learning new information to stimulate the mind

Interestingly, there have been a growing number of studies which have suggested that electroconvulsive therapy may stimulate neuroplastic effects on grey matter.

Specifically, in a study by Camilleri et al. , they detected grey matter volume increases in the medial temporal lobe after treatment of ECT had finished.

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What Is The Gray Matter And White Matter

Gray and white matter are two different regions of the central nervous system. In the brain, gray matter refers to the darker, outer portion, while white matter describes the lighter, inner section underneath. In the spinal cord, this order is reversed: The white matter is on the outside, and the gray matter sits within.

Gray matter is primarily composed of neuron somas , and white matter is mostly made of axons wrapped in myelin . The different composition of neuron parts is why the two appear as separate shades on certain scans.

Each region serves a different role. Gray matter is primarily responsible for processing and interpreting information, while white matter transmits that information to other parts of the nervous system.

Is Your Job Low Or High Stimulus It Matters A Lot

Recently the British Medical Journal reported the results of a large study almost 108,000 participants- that delved into the question of how job content might affect longer-term brain health. Thirty researchers, coordinated by Mika Kivimaki, Professor of Public Health at the University of Helsinki and Epidemiologist at University College London, found that jobs with low cognitive stimulus are linked to higher levels of dementia later in life, compared to jobs with high levels of cognitive stimulus.

Specifically, about 4.8 individuals out of 10,000 in high-stimulus work environments develop dementia, while 7.3 per 10,000 in low-stimulus jobs did.

The researchers found that workers in more stimulative work had a lower level of certain proteins that potentially- inhibit axonogenesis and synaptogenesis the formation of new axons and synapses. From previous emails youll recognize that axons take signals away from neurons to other neurons, while synapses form the connection among neurons.

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Other Key Functions Of The Cerebellum Include:

  • Maintaining Physical Balance And Posture

The same way it detects and corrects errors in your movement, the cerebellum can detect shifts in your bodys balance. It then sends signals to motor neurons which instruct your body to readjust its posture to maintain balance.

  • Motor Learning

The cerebellum also helps your body master movements that involve practice and fine-tuning. This process refers to a wide range of movements from breathing and walking to riding a bicycle or playing an instrument.

  • Eye Movement Control

The cerebellum is also important for your vision. It assists in the control of voluntary eye movements and allows for better eye-to-hand coordination. It also plays a part in peripheral vision.

What Is Gray Matter

The Cerebellum Is Your " Little Brain" and It Does Some ...

Gray matter or grey matter is a type of neural tissue which is found in the brain and spinal cord. It is named after its distinctive brownish-gray color, in contrast with white matter, another type of neural tissue which appears white because it is coated in myelin sheathes. Many people associate gray matter with intelligence and intellect, because it is a major component in the brain, leading to slang terms like use those gray cells.

This type of neural tissue is composed primarily of cell bodies, along with their dendrites. White matter, by contrast, is made from nerve fibers. The purpose is to pass along sensory input, gathering information from the sensory organs and other cells and ensuring that it gets where it needs to go. The speed of communication is determined by the white matter, so one could think of the gray and white matter as the central processing unit of the brain.

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Chemical And Electrical Signals

The actual signals transmitted throughout the brain come in two forms, electrical and chemical. The two forms are interdependent and meet at the synapse, where chemical substances can alter the electrical conditions within and outside the cell membrane.

A nerve cell at rest holds a slight negative charge with respect to the exterior the cell membrane is said to be polarized. The negative charge, the resting potential of the membrane, arises from a very slight excess of negatively charged molecules inside the cell.

A membrane at rest is more or less impermeable to positively charged sodium ions , but when stimulated it is transiently open to their passage. The Na+ ions thus flow in, attracted by the negative charge inside, and the membrane temporarily reverses its polarity, with a higher positive charge inside than out. This stage lasts less than a millisecond, and then the sodium channels close again. Potassium channels open, and K+ ions move out through the membrane, reversing the flow of positively charged ions. Over the next 3 milliseconds, the membrane becomes slightly hyperpolarized, with a charge of about -80 mV, and then returns to its resting potential. During this time the sodium channels remain closed the membrane is in a refractory phase.

The Cell Structure Of The Brain

The brain is made up of two types of cells: neurons and glial cells, also known as neuroglia or glia. The neuron is responsible for sending and receiving nerve impulses or signals. Glial cells are non-neuronal cells that provide support and nutrition, maintain homeostasis, form myelin and facilitate signal transmission in the nervous system. In the human brain, glial cells outnumber neurons by about 50 to one. Glial cells are the most common cells found in primary brain tumors.

When a person is diagnosed with a brain tumor, a biopsy may be done, in which tissue is removed from the tumor for identification purposes by a pathologist. Pathologists identify the type of cells that are present in this brain tissue, and brain tumors are named based on this association. The type of brain tumor and cells involved impact patient prognosis and treatment.

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A Closer Look At The Famous Case Of Little Albert

The Little Albert experiment was a famous psychology experiment conducted by behaviorist John B. Watson and graduate student Rosalie Rayner. Previously, Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov had conducted experiments demonstrating the conditioning process in dogs. Watson took Pavlov’s research a step further by showing that emotional reactions could be classically conditioned in people.

Community Rallies Around Little Girl Diagnosed With A Rare Brain Tumor

How To Boost Your Brain Function-Little Things That Help Your Brain!

ACWORTH, Ga. – It was quite the homecoming for an Acworth family who spent nearly two months in the hospital.

SPECIAL NEEDS RESIDENT ‘IN STARVATION MODE’ AT LICENSED HOME, FAMILY SAYS

Two-year-old Bella was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor in October.

Her mother, Christine Kirby, said Bella started to get back in February.

“We had taken her back and forth to many doctors. Four times to CHOA, four times to Kennestone. Each time it was a new diagnosis or the lasting effects of COVID,” she said.

Kirby said doctors were ready to send her home with a feeding tube, after diagnosing her with a disease that affects stomach muscles.

“I told them that we were not leaving and that I wanted them to do a scan of her brain,” Kirby said.

It was this persistence that saved her daughter’s life.

Doctors diagnosed her with a rare brain tumor.

“She had to have emergency surgery that day to remove the pressure that had built up on her brain. She went to PICU and then had a recession surgery where they were able to remove about 75 percent of it,” Kirby said.

Bella underwent several more surgeries, recovery, and rehab.

On Friday, Bella and her parents came home, after more than 50 days in the hospital.

But it was no average homecoming.

While the family was in the hospital, their extended family was busy too.

Members of the South Cherokee Softball Association, where Kirby volunteers as a coach, got together to make some much-needed repairs to the home.

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New Gut Understanding Equals New Treatment Opportunities

This new understanding of the ENS-CNS connection helps explain the effectiveness of IBS and bowel-disorder treatments such as antidepressants and mind-body therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy and medical hypnotherapy. Our two brains talk to each other, so therapies that help one may help the other, Pasricha says. In a way, gastroenterologists are like counselors looking for ways to soothe the second brain.

Gastroenterologists may prescribe certain antidepressants for IBS, for examplenot because they think the problem is all in a patients head, but because these medications calm symptoms in some cases by acting on nerve cells in the gut, Pasricha explains. Psychological interventions like CBT may also help to improve communications between the big brain and the brain in our gut, he says.

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Wiring Of The Little Brain Linked To Multiple Forms Of Mental Illness

Findings implicate brain regions known for helping coordinate complex movements

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Kara Manke

A Duke University study is the first to link specific differences in brain structure to what is common across many types of mental illness.

Having a single mental illness like anxiety, depression or schizophrenia is hard enough on its own. But studies consistently show that up to half of people with one mental illness also experience one or more additional forms of mental illness at the same time.

The high numbers of patients who suffer from multiple forms of mental illness has many researchers shifting focus away from studying individual disorders and instead hunting for common mechanisms or risk factors that might cause all types of mental disorders.

The fact that comorbidity rates are so high is kind of mind-boggling, said Adrienne Romer, a clinical psychology graduate student in neuroscience and psychology at Duke University.

The findings, based on personal interviews and brain scans from over a thousand Duke undergraduates, show that individuals exhibiting symptoms that cross over many types of mental illness consistently exhibit differences in unexpected regions of the brain: the cerebellum, or little brain, and the pons, structures that are traditionally known for helping us coordinate complex movements.

The study appeared April 11 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Researchers have summarized these correlations in a score called the p-factor.

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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!

History Of The Cerebellum

The little learning brain

The distinct appearance of the cerebellum was first described thousands of years ago by philosophers. The Roman physician Galen gave the earliest written surviving descriptions of this part of the brain.

It was not until the early 19th-century, however, that physicians and researchers began to learn more about the functions of this region of the brain. Experimental work that involved ablating portions of the cerebellum in animals revealed that this part of the brain is important in the coordination of movement.

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Comparative Anatomy And Evolution

The circuits in the cerebellum are similar across all classes of vertebrates, including fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. There is also an analogous brain structure in cephalopods with well-developed brains, such as. This has been taken as evidence that the cerebellum performs functions important to all animal species with a brain.

There is considerable variation in the size and shape of the cerebellum in different vertebrate species. In amphibians, it is little developed, and in lampreys, and hagfish, the cerebellum is barely distinguishable from the brain-stem. Although the spinocerebellum is present in these groups, the primary structures are small, paired-nuclei corresponding to the vestibulocerebellum. The cerebellum is a bit larger in reptiles, considerably larger in birds, and larger yet in mammals. The large paired and convoluted lobes found in humans are typical of mammals, but the cerebellum is, in general, a single median lobe in other groups, and is either smooth or only slightly grooved. In mammals, the neocerebellum is the major part of the cerebellum by mass, but, in other vertebrates, it is typically the spinocerebellum.

Coordinating The Body’s Voluntary Movements

Movement is a complex process that requires a number of different muscle groups working together. Consider how many muscle groups are involved in the process of walking, running, or throwing a ball.

While the cerebellum is not thought to initiate movement, this part of the brain helps organize all of the actions of the muscle groups involved in a particular movement to ensure that the body is able to produce a fluid, coordinated movement. This includes eye movements and movements associated with speaking.

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Findings Implicate Brain Regions Known For Helping Coordinate Complex Movements

Date:
Duke University
Summary:
Nearly half of people with one mental illness also experience another mental illness at the same time. This is leading researchers to shift their focus away from individual disorders and search instead for common mechanisms or risk factors that might cause all types of mental disorders. Researchers have now linked specific differences in the cerebellum and pons to many types of mental illness.

A Duke University study is the first to link specific differences in brain structure to what is common across many types of mental illness.

Having a single mental illness like anxiety, depression or schizophrenia is hard enough on its own. But studies consistently show that up to half of people with one mental illness also experience one or more additional forms of mental illness at the same time.

The high numbers of patients who suffer from multiple forms of mental illness has many researchers shifting focus away from studying individual disorders and instead hunting for common mechanisms or risk factors that might cause all types of mental disorders.

“The fact that comorbidity rates are so high is kind of mind-boggling,” said Adrienne Romer, a clinical psychology graduate student in neuroscience and psychology at Duke University.

The study appeared April 11 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Researchers have summarized these correlations in a score called the “p-factor.”

Story Source:

What Does Your Guts Brain Control

How Your Gut Influences Your Mental Health: Its Practically a Second Brain | Dr. Emeran Mayer

Unlike the big brain in your skull, the ENS cant balance your checkbook or compose a love note. Its main role is controlling digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination, explains Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology, whose research on the enteric nervous system has garnered international attention. The enteric nervous system doesnt seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brainwith profound results.

The ENS may trigger big emotional shifts experienced by people coping with irritable bowel syndrome and functional bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, pain and stomach upset. For decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems. But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around, Pasricha says. Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system that trigger mood changes.

These new findings may explain why a higher-than-normal percentage of people with IBS and functional bowel problems develop depression and anxiety, Pasricha says. Thats important, because up to 30 to 40 percent of the population has functional bowel problems at some point.

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Building Blocks Of The Brain

Extensive and intricate as the human brain is, and with the almost limitless variation of which it is capable, it is built from relatively few basic units. The fundamental building block of the human brain, like that of nervous systems throughout the animal kingdom, is the neuron, or nerve cell. The neuron conducts signals by means of an axon, which extends outward from the soma, or body of the cell, like a single long arm. Numerous shorter arms, the dendrites , conduct signals back to the soma.

The ability of the axon to conduct nerve impulses is greatly enhanced by the myelin sheath that surrounds it, interrupted at intervals by nodes. Myelin is a fatty substance, a natural electrical insulator, that protects the axon from interference by other nearby nerve impulses. The arrangement of nodes increases the speed of conductivity, so that an electrical impulse sent along the axon can literally jump from node to node, reaching velocities as high as 120 meters per second.

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