The human brain and the nervous system are essential for human life. They run the autonomic and conscious processes of the body. All of the body organs and processes independent that not conscious of are controlled by the brain. Being one of the most important of the body when issues there must be immediate solutions or the entire body will shut down. The brain is fragile and has huge functions in the body so it must be taken care of, but if not treatment and tests are there. The human body contains billions of neurons. They are found in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral ganglia.
No two neurons are identical in form; the numerous kinds of neurons differ widely in size and shape. Many have globe-shaped or pyramid-shaped cell bodies; short, branching dendrites; and single, long axons that branch only at the ends. Neurons may be classified by the direction in which they carry nerve impulses. Afferent, or sensory, neurons carry nerve impulses to the brain or spinal cord. A stimulus may initiate the impulses directly in an afferent neuron. The body also has many sensitive cells called receptors that react easily to stimuli and initiate impulses in the afferent neurons with which they are in contact.
There are many types of headaches; some can be serious but most are not and are generally treated with analgesics. The brain is made up of many specialized areas that work together. The cortex is the outermost layer of brain cells. Thinking and voluntary movements begin in the cortex. The brain stem is between the spinal cord and the rest of the brain. Basic functions like breathing and sleep are controlled here. The basal ganglia are a cluster of structures in the center of the brain. The basal ganglia coordinate messages between multiple other brain areas. The cerebellum is at the base and the back of the brain.
The cerebellum is responsible for coordination and balance. The brain is also divided into several lobes. The frontal lobes are responsible for problem solving and judgment and motor function. The parietal lobes manage sensation, handwriting, and body position. The temporal lobes are involved with memory and hearing. The occipital lobes contain the brain’s visual processing system. The brain is surrounded by a layer of tissue called the meninges. The skull (cranium) helps protect the brain from injury. There are many brain conditions that can affect the body all together.
Stroke (brain infarction) is blood flow and oxygen suddenly interrupting to an area of brain tissue, which then dies. A blood clot, or bleeding in the brain, is the cause of most strokes. Brain aneurysm is when an artery in the brain develops a weak area that swells, balloon-like. A brain aneurysm rupture can cause a stroke. Subdural hematoma is bleeding within or under the dura, the lining inside of the skull. A subdural hematoma may exert pressure on the brain, causing neurological problems. Epidural hematoma is bleeding between the tough tissue (dura) lining the inside of the skull and the skull itself, usually shortly after a head injury.
Initial mild symptoms can progress rapidly to unconsciousness and death, if untreated. Intracerebral hemorrhage is any bleeding inside the brain. Concussion is a brain injury that causes a temporary disturbance in brain function. Traumatic head injuries cause most concussions. Cerebral edema is swelling of the brain tissue in response to injury or electrolyte imbalances. Brain tumor is any abnormal tissue growth inside the brain. Whether malignant (cancer) or benign, brain tumors usually cause problems by the pressure they exert on the normal brain. Glioblastoma is an aggressive, malignant brain tumor (cancer).
Brain glioblastomas progress rapidly and are very difficult to cure. Hydrocephalus is an abnormally increased amount of cerebrospinal (brain) fluid inside the skull. Usually this is because the fluid is not circulating properly. Normal pressure hydrocephalus is a form of hydrocephalus that often causes problems walking, along with dementia and urinary incontinence. Pressures inside the brain remain normal, despite the increased fluid. Meningitis is inflammation of the lining around the brain or spinal cord, usually from infection. Stiff neck, neck pain, headache, fever, and sleepiness are common symptoms.
Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain tissue, usually from infection with a virus. Fever, headache, and confusion are common symptoms. Traumatic brain injury is permanent brain damage from a traumatic head injury. Obvious mental impairment or more subtle personality and mood changes can occur. Parkinson’s disease is nerves in a central area of the brain degenerate slowly, causing problems with movement and coordination. A tremor of the hands is a common early sign. Huntington’s disease is an inherited nerve disorder that affects the brain. Dementia and difficulty controlling movements (chorea) are its symptoms.
Epilepsy is the tendency to have seizures. Head injuries and strokes may cause epilepsy, but usually no cause is identified. Dementia is a decline in cognitive function resulting from death or malfunction of nerve cells in the brain. Conditions in which nerves in the brain degenerate, as well as alcohol abuse and strokes, can cause dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is for unclear reasons, nerves in certain brain areas degenerate, causing progressive dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. Brain abscess is a pocket of infection in the brain, usually by bacteria.
Antibiotics and surgical drainage of the area are often necessary. There are many ways to diagnosis or prognosis brain conditions with the brain tests available. Computed tomography (CT) is a scanner takes multiple X-rays, which a computer converts into detailed images of the brain and skull. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan) is using radio waves in a magnetic field, an MRI scanner creates highly detailed images of the brain and other parts of the head. Angiography (brain angiogram) is when a special substance doctors call “a contrast agent” is injected into the veins, and travels into the brain.
X-ray videos of the brain are taken, which can show problems in the brain’s arteries. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is when a special MRI scan of the brain’s arteries. An MRA scan may show a blood clot or another cause for stroke. Lumbar puncture is when a needle is inserted into the space around the spinal nerves, and fluid is removed for analysis. Lumbar puncture is often done if meningitis is suspected. Electroencephalogram (EEG) is when brain activity is monitored through electrodes placed on the skin on the head.
EEGs can help diagnose seizures, or other brain problems. Neurocognitive testing is tests of problem-solving ability, short-term memory, and other complex brain functions. Usually, neurocognitive testing is done through questionnaires. Brain biopsy, in rare situations, a very small piece of the brain is needed to make the diagnosis of a brain condition. Brain biopsies are generally done only when the information is needed to provide proper treatment. After the condition is diagnosed there are many medications to help a patient recover from his condition.
Thrombolytics are clot-busting medicines injected into the veins can improve or cure some strokes if given within a few hours after symptoms start. Antiplatelet agents are medicines like aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix) help prevent blood clots. This can reduce the chance of a stroke. Cholinesterase inhibitors are medicines that can improve brain function slightly in mild or moderate Alzheimer’s disease. They do not slow or prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Antibiotics is when a brain infection is caused by bacteria, antibiotics can kill the organisms and make a cure more likely.
Levodopa is a type of medicine that increases brain levels of dopamine, which is helpful in controlling symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Brain surgery is an operation on the brain can cure some brain tumors. Brain surgery may be performed any time increased pressure in the brain threatens brain tissue. Ventriculostomy is when a drain is placed into the natural spaces inside the brain (ventricles). Ventriculostomy is usually performed to relieve high brain pressures. Craniotomy is when a surgeon drills a hole into the side of the skull to relieve high pressures. Lumbar drain is when a drain is placed into the fluid around the spinal cord.
This can relieve pressure on the brain and spinal cord. Radiation therapy is if cancer affects the brain, radiation can reduce symptoms and slow the cancer’s growth. The brain and the nervous system are remarkable organs of the body. To work the parts of the brain most work together each having its own little job. As we saw throughout the essay we see that an important part can have such devastating problems and they need to be fixed or the brain will collapsed with the body. The brain is more complex ever developed or will be developed, but they need to be taken care of.