Scientists and philosophers have been fascinated by the brain for centuries, but until recently they considered it almost incomprehensible.
Due to the increasing pace of research in neuro-behavioral sciences and the development of new research techniques, scientists have learned more about the brain in the last 10 years than in all of the previous centuries; They have acquired brain function and brain disorders.
The brain is the mass of nervous tissue at the anterior end of a living organism and integrates sensory information and directs motor responses.
It is also the center of learning in higher vertebrates. The human brain weighs approximately 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds) and is made up of billions of cells called neurons. Connections between neurons, known as synapses, enable electrical and chemical messages to pass from one neuron to the next in the brain, a process that underlies basic sensory functions and is vital for learning, memory and thought formation, and other cognitive activities.
It is consists of three distinct areas: the hindbrain, the midbrain, and the forebrain. Although the brain of higher vertebrates undergoes significant changes during embryonic development, these three regions are still recognizable.
The human brain is the command center of the human nervous system. It receives signals from the sensory organs of the body and sends the information to the muscles. In this article from drhealthandbeauty by Dr. Sanaz, we want to introduce you to the wonders of the dancing world of the brain and break down the events that may disrupt its functioning.
It is better to know that the human brain is the command center of the body, or in other words, the main part of the body’s nervous system.
And the task of controlling emotions, thoughts, memory, memories, etc. and also controls other body systems and processes such as digestion, breathing sexual development (puberty), and even involuntary behaviors.
According to Northwestern Medicine, 60% of this organ is made up of fat and the remaining 40% is made up of water, protein, and carbohydrates. The brain is not a muscle and is made up of blood, nerve cells, spinal cord, and other organs.
It is better to know that the brain makes up about 2% of the total body weight, however, it receives 20% of our blood, perhaps because if the blood does not reach the brain for 8 to 10 seconds, the person loses consciousness. And also, the brain uses 20% of the total calories and oxygen intake of our body.
This concept (brain) refers to a set of organs located in the human head, which include:
The cerebrum is the largest part of the human brain, which makes up 85% of its weight and is divided into two hemispheres. The brainstem is below it and the cerebellum is behind the brainstem.
In the following, we will describe the parts of the human brain in more detail:
The cerebral cortex is a part of the human brain structure that has a folded appearance. The cortex contains 16 billion nerve cells arranged in special layers.
The nerve cells of the cerebral cortex have a gray-brown color and their name is “gray matter”. Under the cortex of the brain, there are long nerve fibers (axons) that connect the regions of the brain and it is called “white matter”.
This section has the following functions:
The cerebral cortex is the outermost part of the brain that can be seen.
The brain stem is the interface between the cerebrum and the cerebellum.
It is a region of the brain structure that is located in the central region of the brain and contains structures that are necessary for involuntary functions such as heartbeat and breathing.
The brain stem consists of the following parts:
It is often considered the smallest area of the brain structure and is located under the cerebral cortex.
The functions of the middle brain are to control the functions of the visual, auditory, and eye movement systems.
Parts of the midbrain called the red nucleus and the substantia nigra play a role in controlling body movement
They contain a large number of dopamine-producing neurons.
It is located directly above the spinal cord in the lower part of the brain stem and controls many vital automatic functions such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure.
It connects the cerebral cortex to the medulla and cerebellum and performs several important functions, including playing a role in several automatic functions such as stimulating breathing and controlling sleep cycles.
The cerebellum, sometimes called the “little brain”, is located on top of the bone behind the brain stem.
The cerebellum consists of small lobes and performs several important functions, including:
Now that you are familiar with the different parts of the human brain and their functions, it is better to have a brief explanation of the body’s nervous system before explaining the function of the human brain. Because the brain is also part of a larger system called the nervous system of the body.
A vast network of nerves sends electrical messages to other cells, glands, or muscles in your body. These nerves receive information from the world around them, then interpret this information and cause you to perform a certain reaction and are almost like an information highway that flows throughout your body.
In other words, the nervous system regulates the various processes of your body and affects all aspects of your health.
The human nervous system uses special cells called neurons to send signals, or messages, throughout your body. These electrical signals travel between the brain, skin, organs, glands, and muscles and help you move different parts of your body and experience sensations such as pain.
Eyes, ears, tongue, nose, and nerves are all radars of the nervous system on your body that have complete information about your surroundings and finally, the nerves transmit this information to the brain.
Different types of neurons send different signals. Motor neurons tell muscles to move. Sensory neurons receive information from your senses and send signals to the brain. Other types of neurons control activities that your body does automatically, such as breathing, shaking, having a regular heartbeat, and digesting food.
From the point of view of anatomy, the nervous system has 2 main parts. Which include :
The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord.
The peripheral nervous system consists of many nerves that branch off from the central nervous system and are spread throughout the body. This system relays information from your brain and spinal cord to your limbs, arms, legs, and fingers. The peripheral nervous system includes the following 2 parts:
The brain is the most amazing and complex organ of the body. The one-kilogram organ is the main command center of our body
The brain controls most of the body’s activities. In general, this organ receives information from the sensory organs and then processes, integrates, and coordinates it, and finally decides on the instructions sent to the rest of the body. The brain is placed inside the structure of the human skull and is protected by it.
Maybe you are one of those who sometimes get tired of your or other people’s consecutive yawns. But you should know that yawning is a trick to send more oxygen to the brain and cool it down.
Stress: Research results show that increasing stress leads to changes in brain cells, their structure, and function. Scientists believe that stress can lead to many cognitive diseases.
What are the different types of brain disorders?
A wide range of diseases and disorders affect our brains. These diseases can change a person’s behavior, personality, and ability to process information and various body functions. Even some brain and nerve diseases affect a person’s capacity to perform daily activities.
These diseases may be caused by genetics, aging, trauma, underlying diseases, or other similar cases in any person of different ages. In the following, we examine some of the most important neurological diseases.
One of the conditions that can be considered as one of the diseases of the brain and nerves is hematoma. Brain hematoma is a collection of blood inside the skull. Usually, these bleedings are caused by a burst blood vessel in the brain.
It can also be caused by trauma such as a car accident or fall. Blood may collect in the brain tissue or under the skull and put pressure on the brain.
Blood clots in the vessels of the brain are one of the common and life-threatening conditions that can lead to strokes.
Sometimes the clots are formed in the blood vessels of the brain, and sometimes the blood clot is formed in the heart and goes to the brain. In this way, the blood supply and oxygen supply are cut off and it leads to the damage of different parts of the brain and the death of cerebral veins and vessels.
Sometimes problems and diseases of the brain and nerves develop after an initial physical injury and fracture of the skull. If the skull breaks and the bones enter the brain tissue, they can cause contusion or bruising of the brain tissue in people with the damage they cause to it and the coverings around the brain tissue.
This bruise can be associated with internal brain bleeding and swelling. Headache, nausea, vision problems, extreme fatigue, imbalance, and vomiting can be the main symptoms of this contusion in the brain tissue.
Swelling—also called edema—is the body’s response to many types of damage to the brain. This condition can be caused by physical injury or infection and tumors. The swelling usually occurs quickly and is easily treated with a combination of rest, ice, head elevation, medication, or removal of excess fluid.
Cerebral edema increases intracranial pressure and can occur in specific parts of the brain or throughout it. The location and severity of the swelling varies depending on the cause.
Strokes or traumatic brain injuries are also considered a part of neurological diseases. Traumatic brain injuries include concussions and more serious brain injuries such as gunshot wounds.
Brain injuries can occur from falls, car accidents, sports injuries, or domestic violence (including child abuse). Repeated blows to the head can cause brain scarring that will lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
What is a stroke? This disease is one of the most common brain and nerve diseases, which is known as one of the main causes of death in the world.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies the brain with nutrients becomes blocked or, less commonly, bursts.
In any case, the effects are sudden. A stroke damages part of the brain. This can lead to problems with speech, understanding, vision, strength, sensation, or coordination.
If a large part of the brain is damaged by one or more strokes, it can cause dementia. Sometimes, seizures occur because of a stroke.
What is Parkinson’s? Parkinson’s disease is a condition in which parts of the brain are gradually damaged over the years. Parkinson’s disease is classified as one of the first dangerous brain diseases, this disease affects the brain cells that control movement.
It is widely believed that this disease is caused by a decrease in the level of dopamine in the brain. There are various symptoms of this type of disease, but it usually starts between the ages of 50 and 60.
The initial symptom is generally tremors in the hands, feet, or elbows. Other symptoms include muscle stiffness, balance problems when walking, slow movement, and difficulty speaking and swallowing.
There may also be moments when the person begins to shake violently and loses the ability to walk. In some patients, Parkinson’s disease progresses and worsens, in others, the severity of the disease does not increase.
Brain tumors can develop when cancer has spread from other parts of your body, such as the lung, breast, or colon. They can also form in the brain tissue itself or its coverings.
There are different types of brain tumors, but only some of them are considered dangerous. Although not all tumors are fatal, they are one of the most dangerous brain diseases
Unlike tumors that spread from other parts of your body, tumors that develop in the brain itself or the lining of the brain are considered benign if they grow slowly and do not invade surrounding brain tissue.
If they grow rapidly and invade the tissue around the brain, they are considered malignant. The most common brain tumors, astrocytoma, and meningioma are the two most common brain tumors, the first of which occurs in the brain itself and the second occurs in the coverings of the brain.
Regardless of whether these tumors migrate or not, they can still be considered a threat. The main causes of brain cancer are still unknown, but several causes have been found. Currently, there are 23,400 types of cancer that start in the brain.
Brain tumor formation can occur at any age, but it is more likely at older ages. Symptoms include problems with vision, hearing, speech, balance, headaches, seizures, paralysis of facial muscles, etc. Doctors should decide whether to use radiotherapy or surgery to treat or remove the tumor depending on the patient’s condition.
Meningitis is another type of brain and nerve disease. This disease is caused by inflammation of the meningeal layer or the membranes surrounding the brain and is usually caused by an infection of the fluid around the brain.
This inflammation can also occur in the spinal cord. To test for this disease, the doctor often extracts cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the spinal column. This disease is contagious and in 10 to 20% of infected people, it is transmitted in fetal form.
Early symptoms include fever, neck stiffness, and headache. After this stage, confusion, sensitivity to light, nausea vomiting, and shivering will occur. There are vaccines to prevent meningitis. Less widespread outbreaks often occur in student dormitories and military training courses.
The origin of meningitis infection can be both viral and bacterial. Viral meningitis is more common and less dangerous than bacterial meningitis.
Most bacterial meningitis infections are fatal. Fever, headache, nausea, neck stiffness, confusion, joint or back pain, and seizures are common symptoms of meningitis.
Although rarer, bacterial meningitis can be fatal.
Among other problems and diseases of the brain and nerves, we can mention brain plaques. Plaques form when protein fragments called beta-amyloid (BAY-tuh AM-uh-loyd) clump together.
Beta-amyloid comes from a larger protein found in the fatty membrane surrounding nerve cells. Amyloid beta is chemically “sticky” and gradually turns into plaque.
Sometimes the accumulation of these plaques becomes so intense that it blocks the blood flow in the brain and can cause an ischemic stroke.
In addition, atherosclerosis can lead to an aneurysm, which is a weakened area in an artery due to abnormal stretching caused by plaque buildup.
Among other problems and diseases of the brain and nerves, we can mention brain cysts. A brain cyst or cystic brain lesion is a fluid-filled sac in the brain.
They can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Benign means that the growth has not spread to other parts of the body.
A cyst may contain blood, pus, or other material. Cysts can press on brain tissue and cause symptoms such as headaches, vision problems, or nausea.
In this situation, the cysts may need to be surgically removed. Injury and trauma to the head, blockage of channels in the brain that leads to fluid accumulation, and the presence of a parasite can be the cause of these brain cysts.
One of the most common brain and nerve diseases that many people suffer from is migraine headaches. The intensity of migraine and the pattern of migraine headaches varies from person to person and is often characterized by a feeling of throbbing or throbbing in the head.
Most of them are one-sided. But they may spread anywhere on the head, neck, and even the face. Severe nausea is one of the main symptoms of migraine headaches.
These headaches worsen with activity and can lead to incapacitation of patients.
Another disease of the brain and nerves is called neuropathy, which refers to nerve damage in body organs. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common type in which nerves are damaged in body parts such as hands, feet, arms, etc.
The patient’s symptoms depend on which nerves the disease has affected.
With the timely diagnosis of neuropathy, there is a better chance to limit the damage and prevent further complications. One of the most common causes of neuropathy is type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In addition, physical damage to nerves or viral infections such as shingles can also cause neuropathy.
Alzheimer’s is another brain and nerve disease. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease that occurs when nerve cells in the brain die.
When a person reaches the age of 85, the probability of contracting this disease will increase to 50%. The primary risk factor is a person’s age.
The first signs of Alzheimer’s are memory problems. A person may not have the ability to remember daily activities thus leading to the disintegration of his or her family life. Along with the deterioration of the disease, the person loses the ability to plan and solve problems, loses time and place, has problems using words in writing or speaking, and loses the ability to make decisions and judge.
Alzheimer’s symptoms are often behaviors such as confusion, restlessness, impaired memory, thinking and behavior, personality changes, and communication disorders.
Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of life, but its treatment should be started when the first symptoms are observed. There is no cure for this disease, but the rate of its progression can be slowed down with early treatment.
Multiple sclerosis or MS is one of the autoimmune diseases of the brain. Autoimmune brain diseases occur when your body’s immune system attacks a part of the brain and mistakes it for an invader. The aim is to destroy the myelin sheath around the nerves. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most obvious of them.
Like electrical wires, nerve cells have insulation that covers them. Multiple sclerosis attacks the brain, spinal cord, and nerves that go to your eyes. There are fewer autoimmune brain diseases that resemble MS.
MS can start in different parts of the body and cause different symptoms. There are different types of MS, and depending on how it attacks or relapses, it is one of the diseases that are sometimes dangerous, in some cases, the patient goes about his normal life by controlling the symptoms.
These types of brain diseases mainly occur between the ages of 15 and 60, and women are more prone to these diseases. Symptoms include weakness or numbness on one side of the body and then progressing to the other side.
Other symptoms include fatigue, tremors, feeling weak, stuttering, diplopia, and possibly less vision in one eye than the other, etc. These people may also experience bowel and bladder problems, sexual dysfunction, mental changes, paralysis, and epileptic symptoms.
There are others, such as autoimmune encephalitis, which irritate your brain and cause confusion and involuntary movements. However, mild or severe MS is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that can have many negative effects on people’s normal lives.
Another brain and nerve disease is called hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is a neurological disorder caused by the abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles (cavities) deep in the brain. This extra fluid causes the ventricles to dilate and puts damaging pressure on the brain tissues.
Hydrocephalus may be genetically inherited. It may also be associated with developmental disorders such as spina bifida or encephalocele. Also, sometimes hydrocephalus occurs as a result of brain tumors, head injuries, cerebral hemorrhage, or diseases such as meningitis.
In children, the initial symptom is usually a large head. Other symptoms include vomiting, irritability, poor appetite and eating, seizures, and drowsiness.
In adults, symptoms include headaches, lack of coordination, difficulty staying awake and alert, decreased cognitive and memory skills, blurred vision, and lack of bladder control. When any of these symptoms are observed, it is time to see a doctor. The cause of hydrocephalus is still not fully understood.
Huntington’s disease is a condition that damages nerve cells in the brain and causes them to not work properly. This case is one of the neurological diseases that is transmitted from parents to children and is a genetic disease. Brain damage worsens over time and can affect people’s movement, cognition, and mental health.
Huntington’s disease can occur at any age, and most people are diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 50. This condition gradually worsens for about 10-25 years until the person dies.
One of the rarest types of brain and nerve diseases is called dyslexia, which is also known as reading disorder or dyslexia. This disorder is a type of learning disorder that involves difficulty in reading due to problems in identifying speech sounds and learning how to relate them to letters and words.
This disorder is the result of individual differences in the areas of the brain that process language. This disease is a type of genetic disorder and research shows that several hereditary genes can cause this disease in some people.
Other risk factors for dyslexia can include low birth weight, being born prematurely, and being exposed to several substances harmful to brain development during fetal development.
Epilepsy is one of the common brain and nerve diseases that can occur at any age. Epilepsy is a neurological disease that affects the brain and makes people prone to frequent seizures.
This seizure is an electrical storm in the brain that usually interferes with the consciousness of patients and causes uncontrolled movements in a person. The severity of epilepsy varies from person to person.
Epilepsy is one of the most common disorders of the nervous system and affects people of all ages, races, and ethnic backgrounds.
Approximately 2.2 million Americans live with epilepsy. Anything that disrupts the normal connections between nerve cells in the brain can cause a seizure. This includes high fever, low blood sugar, high blood sugar, alcohol or drug withdrawal, or concussion.
In this condition, each person may have one or more seizures. However, when a person experiences two or more seizures, they are considered to have epilepsy.
There are many possible causes of epilepsy, including imbalances in nerve-signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters, tumors, strokes, and brain damage from disease or injury, or a combination of these. In most cases, there may be no cause for epilepsy.
There are six different types of seizures, the most common being Grand mal seizures. In some cases, seizures can sound the alarm and are considered dangerous brain diseases, and in some cases, they can be controlled.
In this type of seizure, the patient loses consciousness and usually faints. Then the person’s body stiffens, followed by sudden and intense movements in the body, and finally, the person falls into a state of sleep and unconsciousness.
Most of the other seizures do not lead to fainting, but it is completely possible to see the lack of consciousness or staring of the eyes and observing their whiteness in affected people, and they often have no other symptoms. In a partial seizure, the person remains conscious and may sometimes have sensory symptoms called luminous radiation.
There are many diseases that can lead to seizures; Head trauma, brain cancer, alcohol withdrawal problems, heat exhaustion, caffeine overdose, acetaminophen overdose, etc.
Autism is a relatively new neurodegenerative disease, and researchers still do not know much about it.
Some patients with autism have genetic problems, but there is more than one reason for this disease and some of these reasons are still unknown.
The type of behavior, learning, reaction, and communication of people with autism is different from the majority of people. Autism is often diagnosed before the age of three and remains with the person until the end of life.
These people have different levels of mental disabilities, but some of them have high taste and smell. Some symptoms can include not responding to calling one’s name by 12 months, preventing eye contact, difficulty understanding other people’s emotions, problems with speech and language skills, being upset by small changes, playing alone, etc.
It is no exaggeration to claim that our brain is a lifelong construction site. Stabilizing and decaying, building up and down, the strength with which signals are sent between nerve cells is constantly adjusted. A simpler way to look at it is to imagine that the transmission of signals is strengthened when the brain stores something, and weakened when it forgets something. Today, many neuroscientists believe that synaptic plasticity is the basis of learning and memory.
The structure of the human brain is remarkably complex, and researchers are still unraveling many of the mysteries of how the mind works. By better understanding how different parts of the brain work, you can better understand how disease or injury affects the brain.
Dr. Majid Zohrabi started treating his patients in Dubai in 2022 and continues his activities in private medical centers in the UAE.