If we consider our body a machine, our brain is definitely the master computer, running all the services and processes which create our existence and proper functioning. However, our brain could not be capable of doing this if it were not for our nervous system, the network which delivers messages from every single part of our body to the brain. Thus, if something goes wrong, our brain receives the insight via the nervous system spreading through and from the spinal cord. Then, our brain finds the best possible solution for the problem and orders the rest of the body to perform the necessary steps.
The Brain and the Nervous System
Our brain weighs only 3 pounds, but is capable of processing and storing information faster than any supercomputer known to mankind. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerve tissue which is about 18 inches long and almost an inch thick, running down from the lower part of our brain, all the way through the spine, branching often along the way, reaching the entire body. These branches are named the peripheral nervous system.
Skull and Spine
Bones serve as a shield for both our brain and our spinal cord. The skull protects the brain, while the spine keeps the spinal cord safe. The spine, consisting of vertebrae, keeps the cord cushioned by layers of membranes and a special fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid keeps the nerves free from damage and waste, keeping them healthy and well-functioning.
The health of the nervous system is crucial since, once something goes wrong here, our entire body may be affected severely.
Tumors may affect our brain, leading to health problems. Tumors are abnormal growths in the tissue of our body. The tumor may be aggressive, affecting the brain quickly or may not show symptoms for a long time, gradually growing or stagnating. Benign tumors can be treated and do not cause significant complications while malignant ones spread to other parts of the body and cause cancer.
Cerebral palsy appears as a developmental defect or a brain damage during the process of birth. It affects the motor function part of the brain, affecting movement and possibly speech.
Epilepsy and Headaches
Epilepsy is also a condition which can appear due to brain damage, brain tumors or infections affecting the area. It manifests through seizures and loss of consciousness affecting a person from time to time.
Headaches, especially migraines, take place due to an increased pressure in the head, neck or shoulder area. Many different types of headaches are known to affect people, ranging in symptoms and severity, some of the possibly being triggered by underlying health problems.
Encephalitis, Meningitis and Head Injuries
When bacteria or viruses attack and infect our brain or spinal cord, encephalitis or meningitis take place.
Finally, head injuries, chemical imbalances in the brain, drug and alcohol abuse and many other factors may lead to mental illness or concussions, affecting our brain negatively, leading to potential health problems, some more serious than the others.