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  • Hello Stan -- this is a great presentation, but some of the slides have been cut off. I'd like to use it on a page connecting to the 2013 Brain Development and Learning Conference. Would you be willing to send me a copy of the file if I furnish my email address? Thanks.
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Primer on the brain   revised Primer on the brain revised Presentation Transcript

  • A Primer on the Brain and its Functions Dr. Stan Kutcher Katie Radchuck Jillian Soh Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health Dalhousie University IWK Health Centre
  • The Human Brain: A Brief Tour The brain is a remarkable organ,controlling everything from heart rate todigestion to sexual functioning, andeverything in-between! It produces our y g pthoughts and speech, and allows us tocreate works of art – complex activitieswhich help define our humanity.
  • The Human Brain: A Brief Tour The human brain weighs approximately1100-1200 grams, or around 2.5 pounds. Your body and organs are made up of cells, and the brain is no different. Neurons are a type of nerve cell which form networks in your brain to relay information. Glial cells tend to provide support to the brain (nourishment mechanical support immune response etc ) (nourishment, support, response, etc.). DID YOU KNOW? The brain contains an estimated 100 BILLION nerve cells, more cells than there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy. That’s not all, glial cells are thought to outnumber That s the nerve cells by as many as 10 to 50 times! Source: Encyclopedia Britannica. Astronomy. 2000
  • The Human Brain: A Brief Tour Neurons are cells specialized to send and receive information.Generally, a neuron is made up of three basic parts: Dendrites: consisting of many branches this is branches,the area where the cell receives information Soma (Cell Body): contains the cell nucleus nucleus,which acts like a blueprint for the production ofproteins and other materials that keeps the cellp prunning smoothly Axon: carries information received by the ydendrites, sometimes over long distances, to othercells. The axon is sometimes covered in myelinsheaths, another type of cell that speeds up thesignal.
  • What’s This “Information” Anyway? In the same way humans use sounds to talk to one another and share information, neurons use both electricity and chemicals to talk to each other. These chemical messengers are called neurotransmitters.Just few e amples ne rotransmittersJ st a fe examples of neurotransmitters: (Glutamate) (Dopamine) (Serotonin) (Epinephrine/ ( cety c o e) (Acetylcholine) Adrenaline) Photo credit (CC 2.0): Anselm Hook
  • What’s This “Information” Anyway? These neurotransmitters play a major role in the brain andheavily influence consciousness, emotions, and behavior. In a y , ,group of people, if someone is whispering their ideas may not beheard. In the same way, too little of a neurotransmitter may causecommunication failures between brain areas, affecting how wethink, feel, and act. Photo credit (CC 2.0): Anselm Hook
  • What’s This “Information” Anyway? You can see then, how importantcommunication is in the brain. If it isdisrupted, either through chemicalimbalances or problems with theneurons themselves, this maycontribute to brain dysfunction andmental illness. Photo credit (CC 2.0): Anselm Hook
  • The Human Brain: A Brief Tour Two basic layers of the brain can beseen with the naked eye. There is theouter layer, known as grey matter as layer matter,well as the inner layer, known as whitematter.matter The gray matter is made up of densely packed neuronal bodies,whose long axons make up the white matter. Remember how axonsare sometimes covered in myelin sheaths? This myelin is quitefatty, giving the tissue a white-ish color. y, g g
  • Grey matter, containing the cell bodies, bodies is where all the thinking happens. This is your brain’s processing centre. centre.White matter, containing thoselong axons, are like a superhighway.highway. They transportinformation to different partsof your brain brain. Photo credit (CC 2.0): facemepls, MSVG
  • The Central and Peripheral Nervous System The brain, along with your spinal braincord, makes up your body’s CentralNervous System (CNS). From thespinal cord extend nerve cells thatreceive sensory information (suchas th roughness and h t of th the h d heat f thebeach) and transmit that to the brain.These outside nerves make up thePeripheral Nervous System (PNS).It’s a two-way street, The brain canalso send signals through the spinalcord and PNS to control themovement of your limbs and t k t f li b d trunk.
  • The CNS and PNS It takes around11.5 milliseconds to transmit a signal from the tip of your toe to your brain. This may seem pretty fast but in some cases – like when accidentally putting your hand on a hot stovetop – this delay is too long and would cause your hand to burn. Instead of sending a signal all the way to the brain and waiting for a return signal to move your hand away, a network of cells within the spinal cord receive the sensory information, then pass it on to motor neurons, which are cells that control your muscles. neurons muscles Bypassing the brain like this is called a reflex. Your muscle will contract causing you to pull away from the hot stovetop – it is only after a short delay that your brain catches up and realizes your hand hurts! a d u tsPhoto credit (CC 2.0): Ndecam
  • The CNS and PNS Speaking of signal transmission speeds, some nerve fiberstransmit signals faster than others. Usually it depends onwhether they are myelinated or not (remember that myelinspeeds up transmission!). Think about when you stub your toe. You definitely feel itright away since the touch signals reach your brain almostinstantaneously. However it’ll take a few seconds before thepain signal will reach your brain, and when it does –YEOWCH!Photo credit (CC 2.0): Ndecam
  • So now we know what the brain is made of. W know that different d f We k th t diff t parts of the brain communicate with one another using ith th i neurotransmitters, and this communication can extend i ti t d down the spinal cord to the rest of your body. But what does the brain actually DO and HOW does it do it?Photo credit (CC 2.0): perpetualplum
  • There are 6 functions of the Brain 1. Thinking & Cognition 2. Emotion Feeling 2 E ti & F li 3. Signaling (being responsive and reacting to the environment) 4. 4 Perception & Sensing 5. Physical Functions 6. Behavior
  • Thinking and Cognition Thinking & Cognition includes all of our internal mental processes and functions Higher Cognitive FunctionsCommunicating Processing Arithmetic Reading Insight Focusing Planning Pl i Attending Att di Judgement MemoryComprehension Contemplation
  • Thinking & Cognition Overview FACT SHEET Location: Frontal Lobes Neural Pathways: 2-way connection between Your frontal lobes are responsible cortical and limbic areasfor the majority of your conscious Main Neurotransmitters:thought.thought This area works closely with Dopamine, serotonin, andthe limbic system, a section deep adrenalinewithin the brain responsible for mood mood,emotion, and storage of memories.
  • Thinking & Cognition The Limbic System The limbic system includes severalbrain structures: the amygdala,hippocampus,hippocampus anterior thalamicnuclei, and limbic cortex. The hippocampus, responsiblemainly for the storage of long term long-termmemory, is one of the first placesaffected by Alzheimer’s Disease Alzheimer s Disease.
  • Thinking & Cognition Attention Your frontal lobes also include anarea called the prefrontal cortex,which controls many of your cognitiveabilities, such as attention. However, this area of the brain changes drastically duringadolescence,adolescence and is one of the last brain areas to maturecompletely!
  • Thinking & Cognition Attention Is your attention drifting right now? Don’t worry! Scientists Don thave measured attention in adolescents, and have discoveredthat performance increases with age. p g So that means… Yes, attentional capacity might improve as you and your brain matures! Anderson et al (2001) al.
  • Thinking & Cognition Phineas Gage We know that some parts of pthe brain are specialized forcertain tasks. An injury tospecific, limited parts of thebrain can help scientists knowfor sure what that part of thebrain is responsible for. Takefor example the case of poorPhineas Gage.Photo credit: From the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus.
  • Thinking & Cognition In 1848, Phineas was a young man working on clearing out some rock for the construction of a railroad. An explosive was set off accidentally, thrusting a large iron rod under Phineas’ left cheek bone and out the top of his head. The force of the explosion was so severe that the rod completely left Phineas to land 90 feet away, taking with it most of the left frontal lobe.Photo credit (CC 2.0): Kevin Dooley
  • Thinking & Cognition His recovery was long and at some points bleak, bleak but he eventually regained his memory and physical strength. He suffered no motor or speech impairments, impairments however a startling change had occurred with his personality and behavior.Photo credit (CC 2.0): Kevin Dooley
  • Thinking & Cognition He became rash, where before he was mellow mellow. He used to be a good worker, but now his colleagues could not handle his temper. He had trouble forming and executing plans, didn’t think before he acted, and often made choices against his best interests. gPhoto credit (CC 2.0): Kevin Dooley
  • Thinking & Cognition Phineas Gage Although the front left portionof his brain was destroyed,Phineas was still able tofunction well. He could walkand talk, since the brain areasresponsible for that wasn’taffected. However, the frontal lobesare responsible for judgment,planning, and d fi i your l i d definingpersonality. All of thesechanged after his brain injury. injuryPhoto credit: From the collection of Jack and Beverly Wilgus.
  • Thinking & Cognition Speech and Comprehension Your brain also has specific pareas dedicated to speech andlanguage comprehension.Broca’s AreaMainly responsible for languageproduction. People who havedamage to this area are still able to understand language, and knowwhat they want to say, they just can’t ‘get it out’. h t th tt th j t ’t ‘ t t’Wernicke’s Area Mainly M i l responsible f l ibl for language comprehension. P h i People who l hhave damage to this area can still produce speech but it tends tohave no meaning This is known as ‘word salad : meaning. word salad’: Example: “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”
  • Emotion is the ability to experience feelings and to express those feelings to others. Happy ppy  Sad  Anxious Excited  Depressed  Worried Calm  Guilty  Fearful Peaceful  Ashamed  Nervous Content  Angry  Panicky Serene  Irritated  Inferior Joyful  Annoyed  Inadequate Pleased  Resentful  Lonely Carefree  Frustrated  Discouraged We can also call our emotions and feelings “MOODS”
  • Emotion & Feelings Overview FACT SHEET Location: Prefrontal Regulating your emotions is yet cortex, amygdalaanother complex thing your brain has Main Neurotransmitters:to do. Your prefrontal cortex Serotonin and dopamineproduces cognitive emotions(“thinking with you head”) while theamygdala produces instinctiveemotions (“thinking with your heart”). ti (“thi ki ith h t”) Serotonin and dopamine and twovery i important neurotransmitters t t t ittneeded to regulate your emotionalstate.state
  • Emotion & Feelings Neural Correlates Different parts of your brain areactive depending on what type ofemotion you are feeling. For example, the top brain scanshows which areas of our brain areactive when we feel sadness. Thebottom brain scan shows which areasof our brain are active when we feelhappiness.h i The brain really does create all ofour emotions. ti
  • Emotions & Feelings Serotonin and Mood Since the brain produces much of pwhat we feel, when something goeswrong with th b i our ith the brainemotions can get messed up.Clinical depression ischaracterized by a persistent persistent,intense negative mood,which affects a person’snormal life life. Photo credit (CC 2.0): Alejandro Cordon
  • Emotions & Feelings Serotonin and Mood Research has found thatserotonin is important forcommunication between theprefrontal cortex andamygdala areas ofthe brain. Remember how brainthose two areas areimportant for regulatingemotions?Photo credit (CC 2.0): Alejandro Cordon
  • Emotions & Feelings Serotonin and Mood Some people with major d S l ith j depression d ’t i don’thave a good connection between theprefrontal cortex and amygdala.By increasing the amount ofserotonin in the brain with drugs,this connection can bestrengthened and help peopleregain a better mood mood. Photo credit (CC 2.0): Alejandro Cordon
  • Signaling is the brain’s way of responding to a perceived threat, danger, or stress from the environment.Photo credit (CC 2.0): GE Healthcare
  • Signaling Overview FACT SHEET Location: Cortex, Your brain is constantly alert, taking alert thalamus, amygdala,note of your surroundings. When it hippocampusperceives a danger such as an danger, Main Neurotransmitters:oncoming car, the brain begins a Adrenalin, serotoninp yphysiologic cascade with the help of g pneurotransmitters like adrenalin andserotonin. Your heart rate andalertness go up, more blood ispumped to your muscles, and yoursenses become sharper. Your brainthen makes a decision whether to runfrom the danger, or stay and fight it.
  • Signaling Fight or Flight Sensory Perception (Ears, eyes, smell, taste, touch) t t t h) + Internal SignalsWhen faced with DANGER, your 5 senses perceive it and sends a signal to the BRAIN Your brain initiates a Physiologic Cascade  Heart Rate  Alertness  Perception Now you are ready to  Tension FIGHT or FLEE for your safety and protection Photo credit (CC 2.0): Mangpages, Phillipe Put
  • Signaling Anxiety Sensory Perception (Ears, eyes, smell, taste, touch) t t t h) + Internal Signals Anxiety happens when the brain believes there is danger, but there isn’t any Your brain initiates a Physiologic This Cascade produces  Heart Rate feelings of  Alertness ANXIETY  Perception  Tension Photo credit (CC 2.0): Mangpages, flequi
  • Signaling AnxietyNormal anxiety happens to all of us. A situation Which causes can t i trigger it: it feelings of f li f anxiety: First date Preparing for an exam Apprehension Performing at a concert Nervousness Giving a speech Tension Moving from home Edginess Climbing a tall ladder Nausea Etc. Sweating Trembling
  • Signaling AnxietyNormal anxiety: Is transient, which means that it will go away after a while I t i t hi h th t ill ft hil Does not significantly interfere with a person’s well-being Does not prevent a person from achieving their goals
  • Signaling AnxietySome people suffer from pathologic anxiety. A situation, or nothing Which causes can t i trigger it: it intense anxiety: i t i t Feels like a heart attack First date Feels like you’re dying Preparing for an exam Feels like you’re going Performing at a concert crazy or h i a having Giving a speech nervous breakdown Moving from home Climbing a tall ladder This happens when there is a dysfunction in the NOTHING! signaling mechanisms. i li h i
  • Signaling AnxietyPathological anxiety: Is I persistent, meaning symptoms stay around for a lot longer i t t i t t df l tl than they should Is excessive, intense, and inappropriate to the situation – feeling like you are having a heart attack before giving a speech is not how the brain should react Leads to impairment in a person’s everyday life where they person s life, may avoid people and act withdrawn in an attempt to avoid trigger situations gg
  • Perception is the way yourfive senses work with yourbrain to take in yoursurroundings.surroundingsPhoto credit (CC 2.0): Mohamed Malik
  • Perception & Sensing OverviewWe have five senses that work together to give awareness of our environment:See Hear Smell Taste Touch
  • Perception & Sensing Vision For us to see, light must enter into ourpupils and hit the retina lining the back yof the eye. Cones are cells in the retina that giveus our color vision, while rods are cells visionthat give us black and white (night)vision.vision The optic nerve carries the signalthrough the lateral geniculate nucleus tothe back of the brain, the primaryvisual cortex. i l t
  • Perception & Sensing VisionThe primary visual cortex transmits thesignal to two different areas of the brain:Temporal lobes Responsible for object recognition, “what” the object is what Conscious processingParietal Lobes Responsible for object location, “where” the object is Unconscious processing of the relationship between the object and your body
  • Perception & Sensing Vision: Blindsight People who sustain damage totheir temporal l b may d h i l lobes develop la condition known as blindsight. Since the temporal lobes are responsible for the consciousprocessing of vision they would not be able to ‘see’ normally vision, see normally,and would be considered legally blind. However, theirunconscious,unconscious spatial processing has not been damaged so damaged,even though they may not be able to identify objects in a roomthey can walk around tables and chairs without bumping intothem. They can follow objects with their fingers and may even beable to catch a ball thrown at them them. Photo credit (CC 2.0): Jim Simonson
  • Perception & Sensing Hearing Many tiny hairs in your innerear vibrate to sounds in theenvironment.environment Those vibrationsare felt by cells in the ear and thesignal is transferred along the g gbrain to eventually reach theprimary auditory cortex. DID YOU KNOW? As people age their ability to hear very low and high age, frequency noises diminishes. An anti-loitering alarm was developed that plays a high-pitched, annoying noise that high pitched, only teenagers can hear. Talk about discrimination!
  • Perception & Sensing Smell Smell exists as tinymolecular odorants that travelup your nose to be detectedby cells in the olfactoryepithelium. This signal travels p gthrough the olfactory nerve toyour brain, where the signalis processed by the olfactory cortex. Some of the signal makes it tothe limbic system, where long-term, emotional memories are stored.This is why smells can sometimes help you remember strongmemories, maybe of your home or childhood! Photo credit (CC 2.0): DrJimiGlide
  • Perception & Sensing Taste Taste buds which cover the surfaceof the tongue allows us to distinguishdifferent flavors in our food There are food.five basic tastes: Sweet Sour Salty Bitter Umami (savoury) Photo credit (CC 2.0): Zoe Shuttleworth
  • Perception & Sensing Taste Information from the taste buds travel up cranial nerves to reachthe brain stem, where the signal is passed onwards to the primarygustatory cortex. cortex DID YOU KNOW? Not everyone perceives food the same way! Some people have a lot more taste buds than average, and are known as ‘super tasters’. Your genes determine super tasters whether you are a ‘super taster’, ‘taster’, or even a ‘non-taster’. Super tasters tend to be very sensitive to non taster . different foods, especially bitter things like broccoli and coffee, and may be picky eaters. , y p y Tepper et al. 2009; Photo credit: Zoe Shuttleworth
  • Perception & Sensing Touch Your body is full of touchreceptor cells near the surface ofthe skin. When activated they skin activated,send a signal up to your brain tolet it know. Some areas of your ybody have many more touchreceptors than others, and thushave a larger representation inthe brain, in a place called thesomatosensory cortex. Photo credit (CC 3.0): btarski
  • Perception & Sensing Touch A homunculus is arepresentation of what a humanwould look like if made in the sameproportions as the brain areaassigned to it. The hands and facialareas, especially th li and i ll the lips dtongue, are highly sensitive! Dr. Penfield, the famous Canadianneuroscientist (yes, the ‘burnt toast’guy!) came up with the homunculusby mapping limb locations to differentareas of the brain. f th b i
  • Signaling is the brain’s way of responding to a perceived threat, danger, or stress from the environment. Your brain takes care of many different physical functions, such as digestion, breathing, controlling your muscles, etc.Photo credit (CC 2.0): GE Healthcare
  • Physical Functions Voluntary Movement In the same way thatdifferent brain regionsare assigned forsensing different areasof your body, different y y,brain regions controldifferent areas of yourbody. Places wherefine motor control isneeded, such as your hands and mouth (for producing speech andeating), take up a larger area in the brain! This place is called themotor cortex. t t
  • Physical Functions Voluntary Movement Your prefrontal cortex – which if youremember is where all your thinkinghappens – sends a signal to the motorcortex area assigned to a body part.This signal travels down the spinal g pcord to alpha motor neurons, whichtell muscles to contract. This wholeprocess allows us to produce thought-directed, voluntary movements. This entire complex arrangement is known as the somatic nervous system. system
  • Physical Functions Involuntary Movement What about involuntary movement?Stuff you can’t control consciously?Your heart needs to keep beatingand your stomach needs to keepchurning for y to stay alive. If y g you y youhad to consciously think about everybreath you took you probably wouldbe too distracted to think about muchelse. This is where the autonomic(from ‘automatic’) nervous systemcomes in. Photo credit (CC 2.0): David DeHetre
  • Physical Functions Involuntary Movement Your autonomic system is basically incharge of all your internal organs, andcontrols what they do unconsciously(although some things, like your breathing,can be taken over by the conscious mind). y )It is divided into two parts: theSympathetic Nervous System, and theParasympathetic Nervous System.
  • Physical Functions Involuntary MovementSympathetic Nervous System Remember h R b how signaling and anxiety works? i li d i t k ?Your sympathetic nervous system controls that‘fight or flight mechanism (makes the heart pump fight flight’ faster, inhibits digestion, raises blood pressure,etc.).etc ) It also maintains equilibrium or homeostasis equilibrium, homeostasis.Stuff like making sure your body temperatureis just right, and balancing yourblood sugar levels. Photo credit (CC 2.0): Mark Robinson
  • Physical Functions Involuntary MovementParasympathetic Nervous System While th Whil the sympathetic nervous th tisystem is most active when you’restressed,stressed the parasympatheticnervous system works when you areresting,resting so it’s known as the ‘rest it s restand digest’ system. Think of itworking in the opposite direction,instead of speeding up your heartrate it slows it down. It lowers your yblood pressure. Since, at rest, yourbody can expend energy to relax andeat, much more saliva is produced.
  • Behavior is simply the way we act, usually in response to our environment. It includes everything ffrom running to joking, from reading t f di toPhoto credit (CC 2.0): Jamie Davis working.
  • Behavior Overview Teens don’t ‘get’ their parents.What’s with all the rules andrestrictions? And parents don’t like th t i ti ?A d t d ’t lik thethings teens do – they always seem tobe experimenting and takingunnecessary risks. This seeming rift between teens andadults has a lot to do with behavior,and behavior has a lot to do with thebrain. Photo credit (CC 2.0): Ollie Crafoord
  • One example of a behavioral difference is Behavior motivation. Motivation is your drive to do y Motivation stuff – like studying hard to do well on a test, or finishing a marathon, or beating one more level of a video game.Photo credit (CC 2.0): shirokazin
  • Behavior Motivation Motivation is influenced heavily bythe reward pathway in the brain. Areward d d doesn’t h ’t have t b to besomething physical, it can be gettinga good mark or a positive feeling feeling.Drug addiction causes your brain toconstantly seek out that positive‘feeling’, and your brain becomesdependant on it as a reward. Thedanger comes when that feeling canonly be achieved by drugs! y y g Photo credit (CC 2.0): Ollie Crafoord
  • Behavior Motivation In teens, the reward pathway of thebrain is stronger than in adults. Also,theth cognitive parts of the brain th t iti t f th b i thatthink about things logically and weighsthe pros and cons are not asdeveloped in teens. This means teensmay be motivated to try riskierbehaviors and be more impulsive thanadults would be, and are more proneto push beyond their limits and g gboundaries without weighingconsequences (Smith et al., 2011).
  • Behavior This isn’t always a bad thing. Motivation Since the brain matures in this way, Si th b i t i thi young people can be extremely passionate about the things th i t b t th thi they care about, they work hard to achieve things that are important to them. They open their eyes to the world and have new experiences, and become better people for it. It’s all about the choices you make. makePhoto credit (CC 2.0): James Tosh
  • So now we know thesix basic functions of thebrain, but how does sucha complex organ develop? NewScientist (2009)suggests that there are 5different ‘ages’ of the brain: ages 1. Gestation 2. Childhood 3. Adolescence 4. Adulthood 5. 5 Old Age APhoto credit (CC 2.0): Neil Conway
  • Gestation Overview Gestation is the stage of developmentwhere you are still in your mom’s womb.It is this time where your brain undergoesinitial development, and your cellsdifferentiate to create your first neurons y(this process is called neurogenesis). Neurogenesis is a hot topic right now now,because while people are really good at making new neurons whenthey are fetuses, it gets much harder when they are adults. If we learn fetuses adultshow to create new neurons where we want them, we may be able tohelp people with brain diseases and spinal cord injuries injuries.
  • Childhood Overview Childhood is the stage where ourbrains probably undergo the biggestchanges.changes It is this time where welearn language, how to storememories, and how to think. ,Timeline: 6 years: 2-3 months: 18 months: apply logic and trust, understandscortex develops develop a sense of self personal thought process 6-12 months: 3-4 years: y frontal lobe sense that other people develops have minds too
  • Adolescence Overview Adolescence is the teenageyears. It is around this time that yourbrain areas start to fully mature anddevelop. Your sensory and motorareas are the first to mature, which is why teens can be ‘sensation , yseekers’. Your prefrontal cortex matures last, which helps in decisionmaking, emotional control, and temper. Most teens pass through these years without severe or prolongeddifficulties,difficulties but 15% of teens will experience significant mental healthproblems during their adolescent years.
  • Adolescence Overview Adolescence is the time whereyour brain gets rid of neuralpathways that it doesn’t need. th th t d ’t dWhen you’re young, you havea high volume of gray matter inyour brain. During adolescence,this gray matter is pruned away away.This is thought to make the brain more efficient. What gets removeddepends a lot on usage. It’s really ‘use it or lose it!’ It is important to It s use it!keep your brain active and healthy during these years.
  • Adulthood Overview You ve You’ve finally made it to your adultyears! People’s brains peak aroundthe age of 22 This is when they can 22.process things the fastest and learnnew things easier. When y hit 27 g youyears, your brain will progressivelystart to decline. However, adults are excellent at crystallizedintelligence, or wisdom, which is the ability to use and applyeverything you’ve learned up till now. You can keep your brain sharp and slow down that decline by beingmentally and physically active. active
  • Old Age Overview In your golden years, you brain is in themost danger of deteriorating. Death of braincells i th hi ll in the hippocampus area can l d t lead tomemory loss. Again, by keeping fit andeating healthy you can stimulate brain healthy,cell growth and slow this decline. The elderly are more prone to diseasessuch as Alzheimer’s – plaques and tangles are seen in the brainwrapped around cells responsible for memory and retrieval.Parkinson’s is another disease which mainly affects the elderly, andisi caused b th d th of cells responsible f movement. d by the death f ll ibl for t
  • Old Age The chance of experiencing a stroke also increasesOverview when you’re older. A stroke occ rs when the blood hen o ’re older occurs hen supply to the brain has been disturbed. A portion of your brain may lose its functioning (causing paralysis on one side of the body, loss of speech, etc.). Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to rearrange brain s neural pathways and repair itself. It used to be thought that this could only occur in very y y y young p p , but g people, recent research has shown that neuroplasticity can still occur in older adults, even in the elderly. There’s a lot of science being done now to see if we can enhance neuroplasticity to help treat stroke patients and speed up their recovery recovery. Photo credit (CC 2.0): TheArches
  • Think upon this… We’re i W ’ using the Brain to study the Brain And there’s still a lot to learn! What there syou’ve read here is just the tip of ourcurrent knowledge, and our currentknowledge is just the tip of what is goingon in that spongy mass of tissue. Asscience advances, the brain will come tobetter d t d it lf S kb tt understand itself. So keep learning! l i !Photo credit (CC 2.0): dierk schaefer
  • Sun Life Financial ChairIn Adolescent Mental Health For more information visitWWW.TEENMENTALHEALTH.ORG
  • ReferencesDaftarya, S.S., Pankseppb, J., Dongb, Y., and Saal, D.B. 2009. Stress-induced,g p g g g g y pglucocorticoid-dependent strengthening of glutamatergic synaptic transmission inmidbrain dopamine neurons. Neuroscience Letters 452, 3: 273-276.Lenroot, R.K., Giedd, J.N. 2006. Brain development in children and adolescents:Insights from anatomical magnetic resonance imaging. Neuroscience and g g g gBiobehavioral Reviews. 30: 718-729.Sowell, E.R., Thompson, P.M., Holmes, C.J., Jernigan, T.L., Toga, A.W. 1999. In vivoevidence for post-adolescent brain maturation in frontal and striatal regions. Nature post adolescentNeuroscience. 2: 859-861.Sowell, E.R., Thompson, P.M., Toga, A.W. 2001. Mapping continued brain growthand gray matter density reduction in dorsal frontal cortex: Inverse relationships duringpostadolescent brain maturation. The Journal of Neuroscience. 21: 8819-8829.Grant, J.E., Correia, S., Brennan-Krohn, T., Malloy, P.F., Laidlaw, D.H., Schulz, S.C.2007.2007 Frontal White Matter Integrity in Borderline Personality Disorder With Self-Injurious Behavior. Journal of Neuropsychiatry Clinical Neuroscience 19:383-390.
  • ReferencesChambers, R.A., Taylor, J.R., Potenza, M.N. 2003. Developmental Neurocircuitry ofMotivation in Adolescence: A Critical Period of Addiction Vulnerability. AmericanJournal of Psychiatry 160:1041-1052 160:1041 1052.Firedel et al, 17 December 2008 / Accepted: 30 March 2009. Springer-Verlag 2009The auditory cortex Andrew J. King and Jan W.H. S Schnupp CCurrent Biology Vol 17No 7.2007The five ages of the brain: 05 April 2009 by Graham Lawton, Caroline Williams, HelenPhillips, Anna Gosline, Helen Thomson, . NewScientist Magazine issue 2702Romer, D. 2010. Adolescent risk taking, impulsitivity, and brain development:implications for prevention. Developmental Psychobiology 52:263-276.Smith, A. B., Halari, R., Giampetro, V., Brammer, M., Rubia, K. 2011. Developmentaleffects of reward on sustained attention networks. NeuroImage 56: 1693-1704.Tepper, B. J., Williams, T. Z. A., Burgess, J. R., Antalis, C. J., Mattes, R. D. 2009.Genetic variation in bitter taste and plasma markers of anti-oxidant status in collegewomen. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 60:35-45.Overgaard, M. 2011.Overgaard M 2011 Visual experience and blindsight: a methodological review. Exp reviewBrain Res 209: 473-479.