Facts About the Brain

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The brain, one of the most prominent organs in the body, consists of 100 billion nerves that communicate via trillions of connections known as synapses. The cortex, which is the outermost layer of brain cells, is responsible for thinking. The brain stem, situated between the spinal cord and the brain, specializes in breathing and sleep control. The basal ganglia, which is a clustered structure situated in the center of the brain, coordinates messages. The cerebellum at the base and back of the brain is responsible for balance and coordination.

Fact 1. Neurons in the brain are always in a status quo mode. The only small areas where new neurons are created are in the olfactory bulb and the hippocampus. Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases destroy neurons making them  irreplaceable. Recent research has focused on cellular makeovers involving the transformation of cells into neurons.

Fact 2.  Brain activity from certain experiences, such as looking for new locations, has an impact on the DNA. The damage caused to DNA is healed in normal cases, but for those with Alzheimer’s disease, abnormal protein cells aggravate the damage.

Fact 3.  Infants from high-conflict homes show a higher degree of reactivity to angry tones in the brain areas linked to stress and emotional regulation such as the anterior cingulate cortex, caudate, thalamus, and hypothalamus.

Fact 4. Monounsaturated fats from olive and canola oils have a more positive effect on biochemical changes and cell electrical properties within the brain region which are critical for learning and memory.

Fact 5. Emotional development begins early in life and is connected with the emergence of cognitive, language, and social skills. However, the present educational system focuses exclusively on cognitive development at the expense of emotional development.

Fact 6. Stress has an impact on the health of the brain by washing toxins and harmful chemicals over the hippocampus and other areas involved with memory.

Fact 7. When there is insufficient sleep , proteins build up on the synapses making it difficult to think and learn new things. Sleeping poorly continuously leads to cognitive decline in old age.

Fact 8.  Diseases such as Type II diabetes, obesity, and hypertension can affect the brain in terms of the increased risk of cognitive decline and memory impairments. By keeping the circulatory system in good working order, e.g. avoiding cigarettes and saturated fats, lessens the chances of age-related damage to the brain.

Fact 9. Overindulging in food can make the brain sluggish and lead to long-term detriments to the brain. On the other hand, consuming too few calories can also damage the brain’s functions.

Fact 10. Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, of 30 minutes per day is found to be beneficial for the brain.

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