What is the brain?
Your brain is arguably the most complex organ in your body.
This extraordinary structure controls all of your functions and provides you with life. Your brain enables you to breathe, move, think, imagine, create, communicate, feel sensations and experience emotions.
Your brain is a core part of your central nervous system. It comprises billions of cells called neurons and glial cells. Neurons transmit information to and from other parts of our bodies. Glial cells support and protect our neurons.
The largest component of your brain is the cerebrum. It is made up of the left and right hemispheres. The cerebrum generates conscious activity such as learning, thoughts and sensations.
Your cerebellum is at the back of your brain. It governs coordination and balance.
Your brain stem connects your brain to your spinal cord, providing a pathway for your brain to communicate with the rest of your body. The brain stem is responsible for vital functions. It keeps you breathing and swallowing and your heart beating.
What conditions affect the brain?
Medical conditions can affect the brain and its associated structures. These include:
- benign or malignant tumours
- cerebral aneurysms
- Chiari malformations
- traumatic brain injuries
If you notice any changes to your body, you should consult with your general practitioner (GP). To work out the cause, your GP may refer you to a neurosurgeon. A neurosurgeon gives specialised diagnoses and treatment.
Before your neurosurgical appointment, your GP may send you for medical imaging (such as x-rays and scans), tests and other clinical investigations. Once complete, take these reports with you to your neurosurgical appointment.
If you would like to see Dr Raj Reddy, make sure your GP gives you a referral before you book an appointment.
Image by Injury Map under a Creative Commons license.