Brain Rehabilitation: The Gorilla in the Room
Neurobiologist have found that Glial cells, that were often ignored as the glue that held neurons together, are the Gorilla in the room. Rapidly growing evidence is revealing that 85 to 90 percent of our brains, made up of Glial cells, have surprising influence on neurons. Much like RNA was once considered “junk DNA” and is now known to be what really makes us humans different from gorillas- in spite our very few DNA differences.
R. Douglas Fields, PhD is chief of the Section on Nervous System Development and Plasticity at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a part of the National Institutes of Health, and Adjunct Professor in the Neuro Science and Cognitive Science Program at the University of Maryland, College Park has published a book “The Other Brain”. This is a must read for anyone interested in Neuro Rehabilitation of Brain injury, and those who love a good read.
Dr. Fields states “Today we know that Glia constitute another brain that was ignored for a century or more… Unraveling this part of the brain is such a daunting task that only in the last few years have new brain imaging techniques allowed scientists to venture into the white matter realm. As we will see later, these new findings are changing fundamental concepts about how the brain processes and stores information—how we learn. Here inside the blank white regions of the brain, Glia are the heart of the mechanism.”
“A revolution in our understanding of how the brain is built, how it functions, how it fails in mental illness and disease, and how it is repaired has been ignited with the recent exploration of these long neglected brain cells—Glia are the key to understanding this new view of the brain”
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