Posted in Journeys to the brain

Glial cells: Journeys to the brain-6

Glial cells with a neuron: Source: Open Stax.org RICE University under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license We know about neurons; do we know enough about Glial cells? In fact, glial cells outnumber neurons. And, they are very close allies of neurons. If they do not exist, neurons cannot exist. Types of glial cells There are three types of glial cells: Astrocytes, Microglia, and Oligodentrocytes. The diagram below illustrates them. Astrocytes As you can see, they look like stars and in contact with both neurons and the cells of the supply routes’ walls; in this case, the smallest branches of it –…

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Brain’s post-stroke recovery journey: Journeys to the brain -10

Experts describe the brain’s post-stroke recovery in four stages; First 24 hours First 7 days First 3 months Four – six months Six months after First 24 hours Within a few minutes of the stroke attack, brain cells in the directly affected area begin to die at a rate of 30,000 neurons per second. However, the cells in the neighboring area, called “penumbra” continue to function even under duress. Figure 1: How a stroke and its penumbra evolves with time after a block to the middle cerebral artery in mice; source: Nature.com authored by Rudy R.F. et al. (2019) under…

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Wernicke’s aphasia: Journeys to the brain-13

aphasia

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Broca’s aphasia: Journeys to the brain-12

Broca’s aphasia takes away the ability to speak and understand. This problem manifests due to the death of neurons in the Broca’s area. You can read more about the Broca’s area in the Broca’s area: Journeys to the brain-11 How Broca’s aphasia occurs in a stroke Stroke – more commonly due to a blood clot – disrupts the blood supply to the brain at the speed of light; the clot plugs the anterior branch of the middle cerebral artery cutting off blood supply to the Broca’s area. Due to the lack of oxygen as a result of this blockade, neurons in the region begin to die…

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Broca’s area: Journeys to the Brain-11

Paul Broca: Source: Wellcome Collection under the license of CC BY 4.0 Broca’s area plays a very important role in our speech. Prior to 1861, scientists debated whether the whole brain acted either as a single entity or contains specific regions. Pierre Paul Broca ended this debate in 1861. “Monsieur Tan” Prior to 1861, Pierre Paul Broca examined an adult male – Leborgne – who came with a right-sided paralysis. Pierre Paul Broca was a surgeon who had a special interest in physical anthropology. He had been studying the association between skull shapes and sizes with evolution. In addition to the…

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Neurons: Journeys to the brain -5

An illustrated neuron graphic

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Neuron forest: Journeys to the brain-4

“Neuron” by NIH-NCATS is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Our brain contains about 100 billion neurons; it looks like a neuron forest. because a neuron is more or less similar to a tree. These are cells – a special kind of cells. At one end, it sprouts a large number of very thin short threads – “dendrites”. The ends of these receive electrical signals from other neurons via small fluid-filled ponds – “synapses”. The received signals pass along until it reaches the tree (cell) body. From there, it shoots away to the next neuron through another a thicker branch; it is named “Axon”. So,…

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“Time is brain”: Journeys to the brain-9

As soon as a stroke strikes within minutes brain cells – neurons and glial cells – begin to die; each second costs as many as 32,000 neuron cells, 230 million synapses, and 200 meters of axonal fibers. In terms of minutes, each passing minute costs 1.9 million neuron cells, 13.8 billion synapses, and  12 kilometers of axonal fibers (Saver J.L. 2005). Stroke kills 32,000 neurons each passing second. Saver J.L. (2005) So, every second counts in an event of a stroke. This is why “Time is Brain”.  “Time is Brain”, but only as a general rule As far back as in 1993, Dr. Camilo…

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Types of stroke: Journeys to the brain-8

The term, “stroke” refers to a sudden stoppage of blood flow to a part of the brain. It can happen either due to a block to a supply route (artery) or a blast (rupture) in a supply route. Experts classify these into different types of stroke. The block to a supply route occurs due to a blood clot that lodges within a blood supplying vessel, an artery, or one of its smaller branches. Medical terms In the medical field, “stroke” is called “cerebrovascular accident” (in short, CVA). A stroke due to blockage due to a blood clot is called “ischemic…

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Brain’s blood supply routes: Journeys to the brain-7

brain’s blood flow

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