Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Be Brainy.

^(That's the magazine we used to read at school when we were in 1st standard. :')

So today we (Sanjana, Makshi and Deepthi [from KIMS] and I) went to the Human Brain Museum at NIMHANS.

The Museum is located at the Neurobiology Centre and we had an anatomist (who has also studied Neurophysiology) to take us through the guided tour. The Museum mainly has innumerable brain specimens (both normal and diseased) and visitors are also encouraged to touch and feel the specimen on display. The curator seemed excited to see medicos in the museum and equally thrilled (probably more itself) to see an interested engineering student.

So we saw the brain specimens of patients of accidents, hemorrhage, cerebrovascular diseases, stroke, aneurysm, brain abscess and tuberculosis among many others. Later we saw some more specimens during foetal development, hydrocephalus, carcinomas, gliomas and neural tube defects (anencephaly)

It was a decision to visit the museum because it now has us all intrigued to know more, to read more and learn more on Neuroscience. The amount of information he shared and the sustained interest throughout the tour was truly noteworthy.

Do watch these videos or read the articles for some interesting Neuroscience updates! :)
  • Patient of Corpus Collosum Agenesis:
  • Patient of successful hemispherectomy:
  • Adult Neurogenesis (until this, we had thought that regenerative power of neurons is lost after 3 years.
    • Seymour Benzer Lecture on Adult Neurogenesis:
    • Neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons) continues postnatally and into adulthood in the brains of many animal species, including humans. This is particularly prominent in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation. One of the factors that potently suppresses adult neurogenesis is stress, probably due to increased glucocorticoid release.

      Complementing this, we have recently found that increasing brain levels of serotonin enhance the basal rate of dentate gyrus neurogenesis. These and other data have led us to propose the following theory regarding clinical depression. Stress-induced decreases in dentate gyrus neurogenesis are an important causal factor in precipitating episodes of depression.

      Reciprocally, therapeutic interventions for depression that increase serotonergic neurotransmission act at least in part by augmenting dentate gyrus neurogenesis and thereby promoting recovery from depression. Thus, we hypothesize that the waning and waxing of neurogenesis in the hippocampal formation are important causal factors, respectively, in the precipitation of, and recovery from, episodes of clinical depression.
  •  Brain Myths:
  • Have scientists found our ‘soul’? Discovery of 'on-off' switch in human brain could help coma patients regain consciousness:

  1. Father of Modern Neuroscience, Santiago Ramony Cajal first proposed (erroneously) that neurons cannot regenerate.
  2. The dentate gyrus is part of the hippocampal formation. It is thought to contribute to the formation of new episodic memories, the spontaneous exploration of novel environments, and other functions. It is notable as being one of a select few brain structures currently known to have high rates of neurogenesis in adult rats (other sites include the olfactory bulb and cerebellum.

    There's so much more that I heard today but I insist that everybody pays this place a visit. It's definitely an experience no person should miss. :)

    I am now going to begin:
  • The rise and fall of the third chimpanzee: Jared Diamond
Toodles. :D