Disease Seminar Handbook W12

What does a healthy brain look like what is its role

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Unformatted text preview: omes more elastic. The breast ducts begin to grow and this growth continues until menstruation begins (typically one to two years after breast development has begun). Menstruation prepares the breasts and ovaries for potential pregnancy. All women experience changes in their breasts throughout the life cycle. Fluctuating hormone levels during the menstrual cycle can cause changes in the look, feel, and tenderness of the breasts (Fig. 2). Figure 2. Fluctuating hormone levels of the female adult over a 28 day period. Image courtesy of Medscape CME 8 (b) The Normal Immune Response For information on the basics of the healthy immune system, please refer to pages 182 187. (C) Cancer development For information on cancer development, please refer to page 433 of your text. 9 DEPRESSION You have been assigned depression for your independent research project. Before you can begin to uncover how depression develops or how it can be treated, you must first understand the normal function of the brain. A simplified overview of general biology pertinent to this complex disease has been compiled for you so that you may become familiarized with some of the terminology and key aspects of the disease. The information was gathered primarily from the National Institute for Health and the National Institute for Ageing and reflects a basic level of detail. Be sure to read and understand this information before beginning your research. The Non Diseased (Normal) State of the Brain and Central Nervous System (a) The Healthy Brain: For information on the basics of the normal human brain, refer to The Central Nervous System, pages 144 151. By no means are you expected to memorize everything in the chapter, but you will likely find it to be a great resource for definitions and figures to help orient yourself when reading more complex discussions of depression. What does a healthy brain look like? What is its role in the body? To understand depression, it is important to know a bit about the healthy brain. The brain is a remarkable organ. Seemingly without effort, it allows us to carry out every element of our daily lives. It manages many body functions, such as breathing, blood circulation, and digestion, without our knowledge or direction. It also directs all the functions we carry out consciously. We can speak, hear, see, move, remember, feel emotions, and make decisions because of the complicated mix of chemical and electrical processes that take place in our brains. The brain is made of nerve cells and several other cell types. Nerve cells also are called neurons...
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