Saturday, August 13, 2022

What Part Of The Brain Helps With Balance

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Good Balance Is Often Taken For Granted

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Good balance is often taken for granted. Most people dont find it difficult to walk across a gravel driveway, transition from walking on a sidewalk to grass, or get out of bed in the middle of the night without stumbling. However, with impaired balance such activities can be extremely fatiguing and sometimes dangerous. Symptoms that accompany the unsteadiness can include dizziness, vertigo, hearing and vision problems, and difficulty with concentration and memory.

The Biggest Part: The Cerebrum

The biggest part of the brain is the cerebrum. The cerebrum is the thinking part of the brain and it controls your voluntary muscles the ones that move when you want them to. So you need your cerebrum to dance or kick a soccer ball.

You need your cerebrum to solve math problems, figure out a video game, and draw a picture. Your memory lives in the cerebrum both short-term memory and long-term memory . The cerebrum also helps you reason, like when you figure out that you’d better do your homework now because your mom is taking you to a movie later.

The cerebrum has two halves, with one on either side of the head. Scientists think that the right half helps you think about abstract things like music, colors, and shapes. The left half is said to be more analytical, helping you with math, logic, and speech. Scientists do know for sure that the right half of the cerebrum controls the left side of your body, and the left half controls the right side.

What Causes Balance Disorders

Causes of balance problems include medications, ear infection, a head injury, or anything else that affects the inner ear or brain. Low blood pressure can lead to dizziness when you stand up too quickly. Problems that affect the skeletal or visual systems, such as arthritis or eye muscle imbalance, can also cause balance disorders. Your risk of having balance problems increases as you get older.

Unfortunately, many balance disorders start suddenly and with no obvious cause.

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What Are The Symptoms Of A Balance Disorder

If you have a balance disorder, your symptoms might include:

  • Dizziness or vertigo .
  • Falling or feeling as if you are going to fall.
  • Staggering when you try to walk.
  • Lightheadedness, faintness, or a floating sensation.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Confusion or disorientation.

Other symptoms might include nausea and vomiting diarrhea changes in heart rate and blood pressure and fear, anxiety, or panic. Symptoms may come and go over short time periods or last for a long time, and can lead to fatigue and depression.

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Why Dancing Is The Key To Fighting Aging

Blood-brain barrier: a protective layer that surrounds the brain and controls what things can move into the area around the brain.

Circadian rhythm: the body’s natural clock that runs on roughly a 24 hour cycle. Many animals have a 24 hour cycle that includes sleeping, eating and doing work… more

CLSM: confocal laser scanning microscope makes high quality images of microscopic objects with extreme detail… more

Metabolism: what living things do to stay alive. This includes eating, drinking, breathing, and getting rid of wastes… more

Puberty: the change from child to adult where the body is able to reproduce.

Vertebra: any of the bones that make up the backbone.

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How Does My Body Keep Its Balance

Your sense of balance relies on a series of signals to your brain from several organs and structures in your body, specifically your eyes, ears, and the muscles and touch sensors in your legs. The part of the ear that assists in balance is known as the vestibular system, or the labyrinth, a maze-like structure in your inner ear made of bone and soft tissue.

Structures of the balance system inside the inner ear

NIH/NIDCD

Within the labyrinth are structures known as semicircular canals. The semicircular canals contain three fluid-filled ducts, which form loops arranged roughly at right angles to one another. They tell your brain when your head rotates. Inside each canal is a gelatin-like structure called the cupula , stretched like a thick sail that blocks off one end of each canal. The cupula sits on a cluster of sensory hair cells. Each hair cell has tiny, thin extensions called stereocilia that protrude into the cupula.

When you turn your head, fluid inside the semicircular canals moves, causing the cupulae to flex or billow like sails in the wind, which in turn bends the stereocilia. This bending creates a nerve signal that is sent to your brain to tell it which way your head has turned.

What Research Is Being Done On Balance Disorders

Scientists supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders are studying animal ears to learn if inner-ear structures that help with balance but are destroyed by aging, medications, infections, or trauma can someday be regrown in people with balance problems. Other NIDCD-supported scientists are testing vestibular prosthesesminiature devices that may be worn outside the body or implanted into the ear to regulate the function of balance organs in the inner ear and ease dizziness. Some of these devices are being tested on volunteers in clinical trials, and others are still being developed. Visit the NIH Clinical Research Trials and You website to read about these and other clinical trials that are recruiting volunteers.

NIDCD-funded scientists are also working to develop much-needed tests to appropriately diagnose balance disorders. Standardized tests will help doctors determine the best way to help individuals restore their sense of balance and quality of life. These tests will also help us understand how many people suffer from balance disorders, and track whether the sense of balance is restored following treatment.

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Which Parts Of The Brain Are Involved In Balance

The cerebellumThe cerebellum is located behind the brain stem. While the frontal lobe controls movement, the cerebellum fine-tunes this movement. This area of the brain is responsible for fine motor movement, balance, and the brains ability to determine limb position.

Which area of brain affects balance?

Cerebellum. The cerebellum sits at the back of the brain and controls your sense of balance.

What is the function of grey matter and white matter?

The gray matter is the areas where the actual processing is done whereas the white matter provides the communication between different gray matter areas and between the gray matter and the rest of the body. The neurons in the gray matter consist of neuronal cell bodies and their dendrites.

What Controls Balance In The Brain

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The main part of the brain that controls balance is the cerebellum. The cerebellum is located at the back of your skull, above the amygdala . Besides controlling balance and posture, its also responsible for monitoring voluntary movement, eye movement, and speech control.

But there are other parts of the brain that help out too, such as the brain stem which mainly is responsible for breathing as well as balance.

Maintaining balance is a very complex process that is happening in the brain. Its performed by multiple parts of the brain and occurs as a result of the brain communicating with our environment.

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Balance Problems And Disorders

Balance is an easy thing to take for granted, especially when youre young. The complex processes by which you stay upright and move gracefully through spacewhich involve the brain and spinal cord, inner ear, eyes, peripheral nerves, and muscles and bonesare barely noticeable when functioning properly. But balance problems often begin to appear in a persons later years. It may start with a feeling that your equilibrium is off and can worsen to the point that a fear of falling limits your everyday activities.

Because so many parts of the body are involved in maintaining balance, balance disorders may arise from a wide range of conditions. Medications can cause dizziness. Small nerve fibers in the feet become less sensitive, which can make people unsteady. Just having a severe cold can cause a temporary disruption of your inner ear balance. But physical changes due to aging are the most common reason for a lack of balance.

What Is The Cerebellum Responsible For

The cerebellum is important for making postural adjustments in order to maintain balance. Through its input from vestibular receptors and proprioceptors, it modulates commands to motor neurons to compensate for shifts in body position or changes in load upon muscles.

What do grey and white matter in the brain represent?

The grey matter represents the high concentration of cell bodies of the neuron. The inner region of cerebrum is composed of white matter which is also called cerebral medulla. The white matter represents the high concentration of axons which gives it lighter appearance.

Does the cerebellum contain white or gray matter?

White matter on the other hand is mainly composed of long-range myelinated axons, which transmit signals to the grey matter, and only very few neuronal cell bodies. Grey matter is abundant in the cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem, and the spinal cord.

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Treatment For Balance Disorders And Dizziness

Sometimes, balance problems require medical management, such as surgery or medication. You may also benefit from balance treatment called vestibular rehabilitation. Audiologists and other rehabilitation professionals can help improve your balance and reduce dizziness and bothersome symptoms. Vestibular rehabilitation may include exercises with specific movements of the head, eyes, and/or body. Certain types of dizziness may be treated with repositioning procedures. Balance treatment may be provided by an audiologist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, or another specialist.

Right Brain Left Brain

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The cerebrum is divided into two halves: the right and left hemispheres They are joined by a bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum that transmits messages from one side to the other. Each hemisphere controls the opposite side of the body. If a stroke occurs on the right side of the brain, your left arm or leg may be weak or paralyzed.

Not all functions of the hemispheres are shared. In general, the left hemisphere controls speech, comprehension, arithmetic, and writing. The right hemisphere controls creativity, spatial ability, artistic, and musical skills. The left hemisphere is dominant in hand use and language in about 92% of people.

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Pituitary Gland Controls Growth

The pituitary gland is very small only about the size of a pea! Its job is to produce and release hormones into your body. If your clothes from last year are too small, it’s because your pituitary gland released special hormones that made you grow. This gland is a big player in puberty too. This is the time when boys’ and girls’ bodies go through major changes as they slowly become men and women, all thanks to hormones released by the pituitary gland.

This little gland also plays a role with lots of other hormones, like ones that control the amount of sugars and water in your body.

Lobes Of The Brain And What They Control

Each brain hemisphere has four sections, called lobes: frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital. Each lobe controls specific functions.

  • Frontal lobe. The largest lobe of the brain, located in the front of the head, the frontal lobe is involved in personality characteristics, decision-making and movement. Recognition of smell usually involves parts of the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe contains Brocas area, which is associated with speech ability.
  • Parietal lobe. The middle part of the brain, the parietal lobe helps a person identify objects and understand spatial relationships . The parietal lobe is also involved in interpreting pain and touch in the body. The parietal lobe houses Wernickes area, which helps the brain understand spoken language.
  • Occipital lobe. The occipital lobe is the back part of the brain that is involved with vision.
  • Temporal lobe. The sides of the brain, temporal lobes are involved in short-term memory, speech, musical rhythm and some degree of smell recognition.

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S Of The Brain Involved In Speech

In recent decades, there has been an explosion of research into language processing in the brain. Its now generally accepted that the control of speech is part of a complex network in the brain.

The formation of speech requires many different processes, from putting thoughts into words, forming a comprehensible sentence, and then actually making the mouth move to make the correct sounds.

There are several areas of the brain known to play a role in speech:

How Can I Keep My Brainstem Healthy

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Some lifestyle changes can keep your entire brain healthier. To keep your mind sharp and support your brain health, you may:

  • Drink alcohol only in moderation.
  • Eat a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean protein.
  • Exercise regularly.

A strong social network has also been linked with brain health. Healthy relationships can help lower your blood pressure, decrease stress and increase your life span.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Your brainstem is the bottom part of your brain. It looks like a stalk that connects the rest of your brain to your spinal cord. Your brainstem sends signals from your brain to the rest of your body. It controls many subconscious body functions, like breathing and maintaining your heart rate. Brain tumors, strokes or traumatic brain injuries may damage your brainstem. You can lower your risk of these conditions by adopting healthy habits like exercising and eating a nutritious diet.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/21/2021.

References

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Where Is It Located

The cerebellum is the largest structure of the hindbrain and can be found in the back portion of the skull below the temporal and occipital lobes and behind the brainstem.

When looking at the brain, the cerebellum looks much like a smaller structure separate from the brain, found beneath the hemispheres of the cerebral cortex. The cerebellum consists of a cortex covering white matter, as well as a ventricle filled with fluid. It is also divided into two hemispheres like the cerebral cortex.

There are two main parts of the cerebellum:

  • Cerebellar cortex: A layer containing folded tissue containing most of the cerebellum’s neurons
  • Cerebellar nuclei: The innermost part of the cerebellum containing nerve cells that communication information from the cerebellum

The cerebellum makes up just 10% of the total volume of the brain, yet it contains an estimated 50% to 80% of the brain’s neurons.

Which Part Of The Brain Controls Balance And Posture

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Standing straight, maintaining balance, and walking are all natural processes for humans. We dont usually think about them in our daily lives. But, did it ever occur to you how do you manage to do any sport or stand on one foot? Or how quick your reflexes are that you dont fall down every time you stumble? In this article, we are going to explore which part of the brain controls balance and posture. Read on to know some interesting facts!

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What Part Of The Brain Controls Balance

Standing upright, maintaining balance, and walking are all pretty natural processes to us. We dont consciously think about balance during our daily activities.

But have you ever wondered how you manage to stand on one foot? Or perform any sports activity? Or how you dont fall down every time you stumble? Today were going to explore what part of the brain controls balance.

How Does Our Sense Of Balance Work

#Cerebellum

The ear is a sensory organ that picks up sound waves, allowing us to hear. It is also essential to our sense of balance: the organ of balance is found inside the inner ear. It is made up of three semicircular canals and two otolith organs, known as the utricle and the saccule. The semicircular canals and the otolith organs are filled with fluid.

Structure of the ear and the vestibular system

Each of the semicircular canals end in a space that has small hair cells in it. These spaces are called ampullae. Whenever we turn our head, the inner ear turns along with it. But it takes a very brief moment for the fluid in the semicircular canals and ampullae to move with our head too. This means that the sensory hair cells in the ear are bent by the slow fluid. The hair cells then send this information to the brain via nerves.

Each of the three semicircular canals is responsible for a specific direction of head movement: One of the canals responds to the head

  • tilting upwards or downwards,
  • one responds to it tilting to the right or to the left, and
  • one responds to it turning sideways.

Information coming from the vestibular system is processed in the brain and then sent on to other organs that need this information, such as the eyes, joints or muscles. This allows us to keep our balance and know what position our body is in.

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The Part Of The Brain Controlling: Balance And Hearing

The processing of sound happens in the temporal lobes which are a part of the cerebrum. The audio stimuli come through the ear and go directly into the primary auditory cortex located in the temporal lobes.

But how does the temporal lobe affect balance?

Have you ever heard a loud noise and reflexively found yourself moving away from the source of the noise?

Thats the temporal lobe at work. Your temporal lobe is directly connected to the cerebellum by neural pathways. This connection enables a quick reaction to loud noise.

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