The human brain: Important Structures and structural damage

Different regions in the brain, to name a few, would be the medulla(medulla oblongata) ,reticular

formation, cerebellum, hypothalamus, amygdala and hippocampus. The medulla or medulla oblongata is

the lower portion of brain stem. It occurs in the hind brain. It is inferior to the pons and anterior to the

cerebellum. It controls autonomic functions and relays nerve signals to the spinal cord. The amygdala is

an almond shaped mass of nuclei located deep within temporal lobes. It is medial to hypothalamus and

adjacent to the hippocampus. It controls arousal, emotional responses and hormonal secretions. It also

controls autonomic functions associated with fear. The cerebellum is located just below the occipital

lobes at the base of skull and above the brainstem. Its function is to translate plans from M1 into

specific instructions, timing, helps control saccades, compares current motor plan to new plans sent

from other brain areas. The hippocampus is a horseshoe shaped sheet of neurons located adjacent to

the amygdala and within the temporal lobes. It functions in emotions, navigation and spatial orientation.

It also acts in consolidation of new memories. The reticular formation is a set of interconnected nuclei

that are located throughout the brainstem. It plays an important role in mood regulation, motor

coordination and exhalation. The hypothalamus is located below the thalamus and is posterior to the

optic chiasma. It controls autonomic functions, emotions, endocrine functions, homeostasis , motor

functions . It regulates food and water intake .It also regulates sleep wake cycle. (Pineda 4)

Brain damage can occur due to variety of illnesses and injuries. Widespread brain damage can occur

form hypoxia (shortage of oxygen), infections, poisoning by teratogens ( like alcohol). Localised brain

damage can be caused by physical trauma including surgery, stroke, poisoning from lead or mercury.

The consequences of damage in the areas, depends on the functions they serve. Severe damage to the

hippocampus leads to difficulties in forming new memories (anterograde amnesia) and also affects

memories formed after the damage (retrograde amnesia).

Damage to reticular formation is serious and can lead to coma or death. If damage is less severe, it can

cause fatigue, changes in sexual arousal and disrupted sleep patterns. Injury to hypothalamus may cause

growth problems in children. It can cause hypothyroidism symptoms which include feeling cold all the

time, weight gain ,constipation among others.( Brent)

Interestingly, damage to amygdala has been seen to make people less loss-averse. They show an

increase in risky behavior as amygdala is associated with fear. Any damage to the cerebellum

irrespective of cause or location leads to problems with movement. As an example, damage in the

anterior portion spinocerebellum causes disruption in movement of lower limbs, a wide and staggering

gait occurs without much disruption in the arms. The cerebellum integrates motor action of muscles and

joint every moment. Lesions in cerebellum consequently result in loss of motor coordination in the

body. Damage to vestibulocerebellum makes it difficult for a person to maintain a fixed gaze and it may

become impossible to stand upright. Damage in cerebrocerebellum impairs the ability to produce a

sequence of skilled movements like playing a musical instrument. ( Purves et al.)

Any damage to medulla oblongata or any nerves passing through it , may result in paralysis or loss of

motor coordination. One may lose sense of touch, develop vertigo or have trouble swallowing. One may

also not be able to detect pain or temperature changes. In the medulla oblongata nerves cross sides, so

if the right side of medulla oblongata is injured, the symptoms appear on the left side. ( Newell )

Neurologists, neurosurgeons, and physiatrists specialize in treating brain injury. Neuropsychologists

assess the severity and create rehabilitation strategies. Physiotherapists also play a significant role by

sensory stimulation, fitness and aerobic training, and functional training.

The author of this article is Caroline, a professional journal writer working for a company which is well known for custom spanish writing services

The Breath of God
human brain
Image by DeeAshley
I choose to believe that we are eternal, we are light, we are created from star ignitions so that or light will never dim. That’s what I hope, anyways infinity and eternity – the 2 concepts that never cease to boggle the human mind. In the grand scheme of things it’s really not that hard to do. I cannot wrap my consciousness around the question of existence. From a brain cell to a galaxy to a casual thought, to a dark passion – all stemming from one tiny point somewhere in the cosmos. Space itself is but a luxury we can’t afford to take for granted. Somewhere out there, maybe God dwells – the masters of energies. The one that transcends space and time, the one that lit the fuse and it all began. But through our human limitations we can’t see beyond what is placed before us. When the answers we seek are beyond our comprehension. God lies somewhere in that beyond. I struggle to know what that means and I can’t come up with a satisfactory answer. I lose perspective every time I try. And for us, perspective defines our reality. We struggle to understand the forces that guide the universe, yet we can’t understand the forces that guide our own selves. So does true understanding happen on the inside or on the outside? I guess no one really knows, though many claim to via religion or science. But what we see and hear and calculate and formulate is only the tip of the iceberg. I think there is a place, a long ways off from our understanding, where science and religion meet and merge as allies, as on entity, as the ultimate God. A place where the order of all things coincide and reconcile. But maybe these things are kept hidden from us because we are not ready for the truth. History has shown that truth can stare us in the face but we won’t see it until we’re ready. The truth may even be here now, just waiting to be discovered. Events realized before they happen. I sit and think and worry that the existence of God is an illusion, when I could be breathing God every time I fill my lungs. God could be the love I feel when I stroke a cat or the fear I feel when I take to the air. The desire to avoid the unnatural and search for the truth. The pleasure. The guilt. The joy. The sadness. Defies logic and yet embraces it. Relativity at its best.

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