Alzheimer's Disease - Function and Structure

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Alzheimer's Disease - Function and Structure

By | April 2007
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FUNCTIONS & STRUCTURE:
The brain allows us to think, move, feel, taste, smell and hear. It controls our body by receiving, sending and storing information. The average human brain weighs about three pounds and reaches its full size by age six. It consists of gray and white matter contained within the skull and is made up of cells, blood vessels and veins. Blood vessels supply the brain with oxygen and nourishment, and takes away wastes. The brain is surrounded by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) which surrounds the brain and spinal cord. It acts as a cushion protecting them from jolts or other traumas. The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system. The spinal cord carries messages between the brain and body. The brain has three main parts, the cerebrum, cerebellum and medulla and is divided into two hemispheres. The cerebrum is considered the largest part of the human brain, associated with thought and action. It is divided into four sections called "lobes": frontal lobe, parietal lobe, occipital lobe and temporal lobe. Each lobe has its own basic structure and function: •Frontal Lobe- controls reasoning, planning, parts of speech and movement. •Parietal Lobe- controls orientation and recognition.

•Occipital Lobe- controls visual processing
•Temporal Lobe- controls memory and speech
The cerebellum is similar to the cerebrum and is associated with posture, balance and regulation of movement. The brain stem is responsible for all basic life functions such as breathing and heartbeat. The brain stem is made up of the midbrain, pons and medulla.

As the brain gets deeper we have the corpus callosum. This is a thick broad band running from side to side of the brain containing millions of nerve fibers. If the corpus callosum becomes obstructed, it will not develop properly resulting in a condition called agenesis of the corpus callosum. It is a condition where the corpus callosum is absent and through the use of MRI it can now be detected more...
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