Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Targeting immune cells may be potential therapy for Alzheimer's

Messy tangles of a protein called tau can be found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease and some other neurodegenerative diseases. In Alzheimer's, the tangles coalesce just before tissue damage becomes visible ...

Oncology & Cancer

How lymphoma cells metastasize to the brain

Lymphomas in the central nervous system are rare but dangerous. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now discovered which molecular mechanism leads to lymphomas forming metastases in the central nervous ...

Radiology & Imaging

New MRI technique can 'see' molecular changes in the brain

MRI's give us a picture of our body's insides—organs, bones, nerves and soft tissue. But what if MRI's could show us the molecular makeup of our body parts, and help doctors more quickly determine the onset of disease and ...

Immunology

Delivering immunotherapy directly to brain tumors

A new study gives insight into how immunotherapies, treatments that help the body's immune system fight cancer, might one day be delivered directly to the brain in order to treat brain tumors.

Neuroscience

Brain finds order amidst chaos

How does the brain find order amidst a sea of noise and chaos? Researchers at the EPFL Blue Brain Project have found the answer by using advanced simulation techniques to investigate the way neurons talk to each other. In ...

Oncology & Cancer

Study finds new pathway for potential glioblastoma treatment

A team led by Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences' (CVM) researcher Dr. Stephen Safe has discovered a new pathway that may help suppress the development of glioblastoma tumors, one ...

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Human brain

The human brain is the center of the human nervous system and is a highly complex organ. Enclosed in the cranium, it has the same general structure as the brains of other mammals, but is over three times as large as the brain of a mammal with an equivalent body size. Most of the expansion comes from the cerebral cortex, a convoluted layer of neural tissue that covers the surface of the forebrain. Especially expanded are the frontal lobes, which are involved in executive functions such as self-control, planning, reasoning, and abstract thought. The portion of the brain devoted to vision is also greatly enlarged in humans.

Brain evolution, from the earliest shrewlike mammals through primates to hominids, is marked by a steady increase in encephalization, or the ratio of brain to body size. The human brain has been estimated to contain 50–100 billion (1011) neurons[citation needed], of which about 10 billion (1010) are cortical pyramidal cells.[citation needed] These cells pass signals to each other via approximately 100 trillion (1014)[citation needed] synaptic connections.

In spite of the fact that it is protected by the thick bones of the skull, suspended in cerebrospinal fluid, and isolated from the bloodstream by the blood-brain barrier, the delicate nature of the human brain makes it susceptible to many types of damage and disease. The most common forms of physical damage are closed head injuries such as a blow to the head, a stroke, or poisoning by a wide variety of chemicals that can act as neurotoxins. Infection of the brain is rare because of the barriers that protect it, but is very serious when it occurs. More common are genetically based diseases[citation needed], such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and many others. A number of psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia and depression, are widely thought to be caused at least partially by brain dysfunctions, although the nature of such brain anomalies is not well understood.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA