Brain: anatomy, role, diagram of the human brain

The brain regulates all vital functions of the human body. Anatomy, role of the organism, diseases, examinations, diagram… Exploration with Dr. Michel Gugenheim, neurologist and President of the ANLLF, Association of Liberal Neurologists of the French Language.

Well protected by the bones of the skull, the brain is that control center of the human body. “It’s a bit like the dashboard, confirms dr. Michael Gugenheim. It sends and receives messages that a uninterrupted communication between the outside world and the self.

The brain has them Control of all organs of the human bodymotor and cognitive functions and hormone production. “It is he who controls motor skills, sensitivity, balance, memory and emotions” the specialist continues.

The brain consists of three elements:

On the surface of the cerebral hemispheres is a layer of brain tissue (the cortex) is called gray matter because of its gray color. “It’s the shell of the brainexplains the neurologist. the Cortex is the starting point of the motor pathways which play an essential role in the control of movement and gait.” The brain includes the diencephalon (thalamus, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland) and the two cerebral hemispheres, which communicate with each other via a bundle of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum.

For convenience, the bark is divided into four lobes:

  • the frontal lobes : Involved in higher cognitive tasks such as problem solving, reasoning, planning, and emotions.
  • the parietal lobe : Involved in sensory processes, attention and language.
  • the occipital lobe : in the back of the brain involved in visual information, including shape and color recognition.
  • the temporal lobe : plays an important role in encoding auditory information and in integrating information from other sensory modalities.

In the deep regions of the brain we also find them midbrain which plays an important role in visual and auditory reflexes and the hindbrain which allows control of breathing rhythm, heart activity and blood glucose levels.

Diagram of the Brain. © 123RF

Of Many pathologies can affect the brain including: Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, migraines, brain tumors and stroke.

► The Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative pathology which is characterized by impaired memory and progressive disorders of orientation, language (aphasia), writing (dysthography), motor coordination (apraxia), mood (depression, irritability) and sleep (insomnia). “Be careful, not all memory loss means you have Alzheimer’s, reassures the neurologist. There can be many other causes such as fatigue, depression, sleep disorders, use of medication, alcohol or narcotics. As we age, we also tend to be less attentive, which affects our ability to remember.

► Theepilepsy : is a neurological disease This affects almost 500,000 people in France, half of whom are under 20 years old. “It’s a kind of short circuit between neurons that leads to unpredictable, sudden and often very brief crises that take different forms.” explains Dr. Gugenheim. Depending on the symptoms, which range from involuntary muscle contractions to unconsciousness, we speak of partial or generalized epileptic seizures.

► The Parkinson’s disease : It is a neurodegenerative pathology of the central nervous system whose three main symptoms are tremors at rest, slowness and difficulty in moving (akinesia) and muscle hypertonia. “It is a disease of the dopaminergic neurons: dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a molecule that is responsible for the transmission of information between neurons. When dopamine production or circulation is impaired, neurons communicate incorrectly.”

► The multiple sclerosis : inflammatory and degenerative diseases of the brain and spinal cord, Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disease of young adults that develops in stages or gradually. “Multiple sclerosis is the most common cause of non-traumatic acquired disabilities in young adults.”

► Thestroke : or CVA means the occlusion or rupture of an artery that carries blood to the brain. “It’s a medical emergency,” the specialist reminds. It can be fatal and the later it is treated, the more serious the consequences can be.”

► The brain tumor : which can be benign or malignant in nature. “Some benign tumors grow inside the skull and, due to the limited space, cause complications depending on where they are.” says the neurologist.

To visualize the anatomy of the brain, the neurologist may ask an MRI or brain scan. For its part, the electroencephalogram (or EEG) makes it possible to measure its electrical activity.

“There are several brain specialists: First the neurologist in charge of the “organic” brain, the psychiatrist in charge of the “chemical” brain, and the neurosurgeon who performs the surgeries” closes dr Gugenheim.

thanks to dr Michel Gugenheim, neurologist and President of the ANLLF, Association of Liberal Neurologists of the French Language.

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