Structures and functions of the brain
SPINAL CORD: - is a long column of neurones that run fron the base of the brain down the spine. In several places, they branch off and connect with other parts of the body. It relays information between the brain and the rest of the body.
The brain is made up of billions of interconnected neurones.
Different parts of the brain have different functions:
- CEREBRUM - the largest part of the brain which is divided into two halves called the cerebral hemispheres (left side controls right muscles etc...). Responsible for different things including movement, intelligence, memory, language and vision
- CEREBELLUM - Responsible for muscle coordination and balance
- MEDULLA OBLONGATA- controls unconsious activities such as heart rate and breathing.
- Uses x-rays to produce an image
- show the main structures but not the functions
- if the scans shows a diseased or damaged brain structure and the patient has lost some function, the function of that part of the brain can be worked out.
PET SCANNING -
- Uses radioactive chemicals to show which parts of the brain are active
- they are very detailed and can be used to investigate both structure and function of the brain in real time
- it can show if the areas of the brain are unusually active or inactive, so they are useful for studying disorders that change the brain's activity (eg. alzheimer's)
Treating CNS diseases
There are difficulties:
- It's hard to repair damage - neurones in the CNS don't readily repair themselves and scientists have not found way to repair nervous tissue in the CNS
- If a problem occurs in a part of the nervous system that isn't easy to acess it can be hard to treat.
- Treatment may lead to permanent damage
Drafted by Catrina (Biology)