A Glance into the Human Brain

A Glance into the Human Brain – Structure and Functions of the Human Brain (Human Brain’s Anatomy and Physiology) – A Voyage Into the Human Brain!

This article describes the structure of human brain (anatomy of human brain) and functions of human brain (physiology of human brain), which is the most complex and mysterious organ of the human body. This article is expected to cater the needs of a variety of audiences including the students, teachers, healthcare professionals, and the laymen. The article has been written in an easy-to-understand language and richly annotated with definitions of difficult medical terms including etymologies.
   

The human brain is the most sophisticated organ of the human body, and can aptly be called as a biological marvel. The brain and the spinal cord constitute the central nervous system (CNS). The brain plays the role of the control tower or control center of the human body, and relies on a vast network of nerves (bundles of fibers of nervous tissue carrying impulses) spread throughout the body. Nerves can be compared to the electrical wiring as they carry electrical impulses.

Noteworthy Facts about the Human Brain!

  • The brain of human beings resembles a small cauliflower in its size and appearance.
  • Human brain is comprised of about 100 billion neurons or nerve cells.
  • The weight of an adult human brain is about 1300 g (about 3 pounds), whereas the weight of a newborn’s brain lies in the range of 350 – 400 g.
  • Although the brain of a human being accounts for only 2 % of the total body weight, it utilizes 20 % of the of the resting total body oxygen consumption.
  • Human brain contains 77 to 78 % water, 10 to 12 % lipids, 8 % proteins, 2 % soluble organic substances, 1 % carbohydrates, and 1 % inorganic salts.
  • The cerebral cortex forms 77% by volume of the human brain.
  • Cerebrum is the largest part of the human brain, whereas Cerebellum is the second largest.
  • Left side of the brain (left cerebral hemisphere) controls the right side of the body, whereas the right side of the brain (right cerebral hemisphere) controls the left side of the human body.

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Rationally Coping With High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

Rationally Coping With High Blood Pressure or Hypertension

How To Cope With High Blood Pressure or Hypertension?

“High Blood Pressure or Hypertension Is A Multifaceted Menace; It’s Best To Control It At Its Very Beginning”

High Blood Pressure or HBP or Hypertension has been aptly called by the author of this article as a Multifaceted Disease because it does not damage a single organ or part of your body but it can cause damage to multiple organs of your body including heart, blood vessels, kidney, brain, eyes, and others. Also, this disease is a Silent Killer as it can silently (without any symptoms) damage your organs or even can kill you.

High Blood Pressure or Hypertension Silent Killer - AdidarwinianIf you have High Blood Pressure, then in order to cope with this menace there are two proven strategies. High Blood Pressure or Hypertension can be normalized with lifestyle changes and by the use of certain medicines. When lifestyle changes are not sufficient enough to keep your blood pressure or BP in control, your doctor will likely add medication to your treatment regimen. Most people who have High Blood Pressure or Hypertension need lifelong treatment. Adhering to the treatment plan is vital not only to keep a person healthy but also to prevent or delay health problems related to Hypertension. For most adults, the goal of treatment is to achieve and maintain blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg. For adults suffering from the diabetes or the chronic kidney disease, the goal of treatment is to achieve and maintain blood pressure below 130/80 mm Hg.

Lifestyle Changes Are a Must to Control Hypertension / High Blood Pressure

“Healthy lifestyle habits are the basis of a long and active life”

Lifestyle Changes Are a Must to Control Hypertension - AdidarwinianThere are certain healthy lifestyle habits that help control Hypertension. These healthy lifestyle habits include –

Healthy Diet

Balanced and flexible eating plans, such as, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan can help control High Blood Pressure. In order to control High Blood Pressure, DASH eating plan advocates the limited use of cholesterol, saturated fat, total fat, salt, sweets, sugary beverages, added sugars, red meat, and hard drinks.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

A healthy weight can help you control your blood pressure, lower the strain on the heart, and lessen your risk for other health problems.

Maintain a Healthy Weight - AdidarwinianBe Physically Active

Physical activity helps control your blood pressure, weight, and strengthens your heart and reduces stress. A strong heart, healthy weight, and good emotional health are beneficial for your blood pressure. Discuss with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan. Your doctor will suggest how much and what types of physical activities are safe for you.

Quit Smoking and Avoid Secondhand Smoke

“Each cigarette that a person smokes, temporarily increases his or her blood pressure for many minutes after he or she finishes”.

Quit Smoking and Avoid Secondhand Smoke - AdidarwinianSmoking harms nearly every organ in your body, including your heart, the blood vessels, your lungs, mouth, eyes, reproductive organs, bladder, bones, and the digestive organs. Smoking raises your risk for High Blood Pressure. Discuss with your doctor about the community programs, support groups, and products that are available to help you quit smoking. Also, avoid secondhand smoke as secondhand smoke also harms the heart and blood vessels in the same way by which active smoking harms. For a healthy life, and to reduce risks for heart attack and stroke, one should avoid all forms of smoking including secondhand smoke.

Manage / Control Stress

Managing stress can improve both the emotional and physical health of a person. Physical activity, meditation, listening to music, yoga, relaxation, and tai chi can help reduce stress levels. Certain support groups and healthy lifestyle programs are available which teach you how to cope with the common problems of life without getting stressed.

Medicines Used To Treat High Blood Pressure / Hypertension  

Medicines Used To Treat High Blood Pressure or Hypertension - AdidarwinianMedicines play a major role in controlling Hypertension. Different types of High Blood Pressure medicines reduce blood pressure by different actions or mechanisms. Some medicines lower BP (blood pressure) by eliminating extra water and salt from the body; some medicines slow down the heart rate; some relax and widen your blood vessels; etc. Generally, combination-therapy of two or more medicines works better than a single medicine.

Beta Blockers

Beta Blockers slow down the heart rate and reduce heart muscle’s contractility, thus reducing High Blood Pressure.

Diuretics

Diuretics reduce the amount of fluid in your blood by helping kidneys to eliminate the excess of water and salt from the body. This causes lowering of High Blood Pressure or Hypertension.

Calcium Channel Blockers

Calcium channel blockers prevent calcium entry into the muscle cells of the blood vessels, thereby, causing relaxation of blood vessels. Thus, High Blood Pressure or Hypertension comes under control.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors dilate blood vessels by blocking the action of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE). Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) helps in the formation of a chemical called angiotensin II. Angiotensin II causes blood vessels to constrict. Thus, inhibiting the formation of angiotensin II lowers High Blood Pressure.

Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs)

Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) class of medicines lowers blood pressure by blocking angiotensin II receptors. Angiotensin II requires angiotensin II receptors to constrict blood vessels, so blocking these receptors blocks the action of angiotensin II, and this results in relaxation of blood vessels.

Direct Vasodilators

Vasodilators work directly on the muscles in blood vessel walls and causes dilation of blood vessels, thus, Hypertension comes under control.

Alpha Blockers

Alpha blockers interfere with the conduction of nerve impulses resulting in relaxation of the muscle tone of the walls of the blood vessels. This lowers the High Blood Pressure.

Alpha-Beta Blockers

This class of medicines interferes with the conduction of nerve impulses like alpha blockers, and also, slows down the heart rate like beta blockers. Thus, High Blood Pressure or Hypertension is normalized by double mechanisms.

Centrally Acting Medicines

These medicines stimulate specific receptors in the brain. This, in turn, sends nerve signals to the blood vessels, causing them to relax and widen. This causes lowering of High Blood Pressure or HBP.

Direct Renin Inhibitors

Renin is a protein (enzyme) secreted by the kidney in response to decreases in blood volume and other reasons. Renin converts angiotensinogen to form angiotensin I. Direct renin inhibitor decreases plasma renin activity (PRA), and hence, inhibits the conversion of angiotensinogen to angiotensin I. Suppression of angiotensin I causes decrease in the formation of angiotensin II which is a potent blood pressure-elevating chemical. This way, direct renin inhibitors lowers High Blood Pressure or HBP or Hypertension.