I want to explain the brain’s cleaning system, but I need to give you some basic and essential facts about the brain!
It heavier than you think. On average it’s about 1.5 kilos, around 3lbs. Check it out, find something that’s a kilo and you’ll see what I mean.
It is 75% water—the importance of drinking and keeping yourself hydrated is obvious!
It grows from about 350 grams, a newborn’s brain size, through to its full extent in adulthood.
It comprises billions of neurons, brain cells, about 86 billion at the last estimation. These neurons have trillions of connections allowing for messages to travel around the brain and body.
Not all neurons are the same. Different neurons perform different tasks; sensory, motor etc. They transmit messages through chemical and electrical processes.
It also comprises of a similar amount of Glial cells. These perform a range of functions, from holding the Neurons together to performing the brain’s cleaning system.
The brain continues to form new connections between neurons throughout life.
Neurons regenerate throughout life. This is called Neurogenesis.
Although only about two per cent of our bodies total weight, it uses about twenty per cent of the bodies fuel, both glucose and oxygen. It, therefore, produces twenty per cent of bodies waste from the process within the brain.
Traumatic brain injury in children, to around 50, is one of the leading causes of disability and death. Primary reasons are falls, vehicle crashes and assaults. This does not take into account continual trauma over time, such as in some sports. So the figure could be far higher.
The next post: The Night Cleaners of the Brain
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