Brain. Barrel of the brain: structure and function, diseases

The most interesting part of a person's body is his head, where there is such a powerful and natural regulator - the brain. The brain stem, cerebellum and two large hemispheres are those "details" of which this peculiar "computer" consists. Only, like other organs, the brain stem is prone to various diseases. Let's talk about them in more detail.

brain brain stem

General information on the brain

The brain( the brain stem is one of the main components of the central nervous system regulator) is the main human organ, consisting of 20-25 billion neurons. They are directly involved in the formation of complex electrical impulses that control the work of the whole organism as a whole.

The human brain has a reliable and durable protection in the form of a skull. Additional protection is provided by three shells:

  • is solid;
  • is soft;
  • spiderweb.

The intermediate link between the protective membranes and the spinal cord is the cerebrospinal fluid, or cerebrospinal fluid. It is the cerebrospinal fluid that is considered a kind of shock absorber, which protects our brain from attacks and any mechanical damage. The brain stem( it is also called the brain stem) is considered an important component of the base of the regulator. More details about it, as well as on what other parts of the brain consists of, let's talk further. What structures does the brain consist of?

The brain is considered a complex of peculiar and very complex mechanisms that work like a clock. As a rule, it consists of five departments:

  • final;
  • intermediate;
  • rear( it includes the bridge and the cerebellum);
  • medium;
  • oblong.

In addition, the human brain is divided into three main structures, among them:

  • cortex of the cerebral hemispheres;
  • basal ganglia;
  • thalamus;
  • cerebellum;
  • the trunk of the brain.

All of the above structures perform extremely important functions, and also play a role in the work and defense of the brain.

brain stem structure and function

What is the brain stem in humans?

The human brain is considered to be one of the main parts of the body regulator, which includes the brain stem( they are also called the nucleus of the cranial nerves), as well as the vasomotor, respiratory and other centers important for the normal functioning of each individual.

It is located between the edges of a large hole in the occipital region of the head and the slope of the inner part of the skull. On the brain stem it is sometimes said that it seems to prolong the spinal cord. This is due to the fact that both bodies are not endowed with a clear, but conditional border.

The trunk of the brain( the structure and function of it will be described below) has a length of only 7 cm. It consists primarily of the middle and oblong brain, as well as the variolium bridge. Often, the cerebral trunk also includes an intermediate brain with a cerebellum.

diffuse brainstem

More on the structure and functions of parts of the brainstem of the

Each of the components of the brain stem has its own features and functions. For example, the middle brain is considered one of the main departments, which is responsible for the working capacity of the human visual and auditory center.

According to the textbooks on anatomy, it is the middle brain entering the brain stem that is able to regulate the change in the position and shape of the pupil( with it, it can narrow and expand).And of course, he is directly responsible for maintaining the muscle tone of our eyes and allows us to perfectly navigate in space.

The oblong brain, which because of its special structure is also called an onion, is responsible for such protective reflexes as sneezing( in the presence of a cold or allergens), coughing and even vomiting. In addition, it is this part of the brain that helps regulate the respiratory system and is responsible for the smooth operation of the cardiovascular and digestive systems.

The Varoliev Bridge is also an important regulator department included in the brain stem( the structure and functions of it should be known to all those who wish to become more familiar with the anatomy of a person).This organ is a kind of isthmus between the head and the spinal cord, since it is he who is responsible for transferring information from one part of the body to another.

Cerebellum is a department of the brain that is responsible for the coordination of human movements, adjustment and maintenance of balance and, of course, muscle tone. It is located slightly below the bridge and the medulla oblongata( in the region of the occipital lobes).

The intermediate brain is the department located above the middle brain. He is responsible for the normal operation of the endocrine glands( controls the vital activity of the thyroid and adrenal glands).

These amazing sections of the brain stem have existed for a long time and are active in our body.

brain tumor of the brain stem

What are the nuclei of the cranial nerves?

As we mentioned earlier, the nuclei of the cranial nerves lie in the brain stem. They are in the intermediate area between the posterior and oblong parts of the brain, and also partially affect the bridge.

According to experts, these kernels consist of nerves, which number is not less than twelve. However, all of them affect the structure of the brain stem, because, like a huge octopus, they loaded their "tentacles" into the brain stem and created a series of branches.

In the list of nerves that directly form part of the nuclei, we can distinguish:

  • olfactory and visual;
  • outlets and facial;
  • oculomotor and block;
  • trigeminal and lingopharyngeal;
  • triplets and wandering;
  • sublingual and additional.

And each of the nuclei is responsible for the different nature of the innervation( the connection of tissues and organs with the help of nerve endings) and fulfills its functional duties. For example, nuclei related to the block nerve, are responsible for the removal of the eyes in a position down and in the side.

Dual kernels allow you to control the muscles of the larynx, palate and pharynx. That's why they direct our voice, the process of chewing food and articulation( pronouncing out loud the sounds of speech).Having received more detailed information on the direct administration of the nuclei of the cranial nerves, one can also learn the functions of the brain stem.

treatment of the brain stem

What functions does the brain stem perform?

The brain stem has a number of subsidiary organs and constituent parts that play an important role in the life of each of us. So, thanks to him, we have the opportunity to feel the scent of flowers, catch any sounds and understand human speech, solve important issues with the help of thoughts, see the surrounding world and feel it by touch.

In this case, most of the functions of the trunk, according to experts, is realized due to the presence of nuclei and nerve endings in them. Many of them control auditory, visual and taste receptors. And since the spinal cord and the brain stem have a close relationship, the main task of the first is the transfer of all indications of the central nervous system to all other organs. That is, the brain stem represents a certain processor with wires, through which electricity flows. Therefore, it is so important to monitor its efficiency. Otherwise, the whole system will fail, and the electrical impulses will not be transmitted for their intended purpose.

glioma of the brainstem

Brain( brain stem): problems and diseases

Regardless of the general situation, this or that organ in our body may well fail. Most often this is due to the presence of any trauma or unnatural neoplasm, and sometimes is a consequence of something more dangerous.

So, we can distinguish several diseases associated with cell damage or the constituent parts of the brainstem:

  • stroke of the brainstem;
  • tumor formation in the trunk region;
  • chordomas;
  • ischemia;
  • aneurysms;
  • epidermoid;
  • vascular malformation;
  • of the meningioma;
  • cysts.

When is a stroke of the brain stem possible?

Most often, stroke leads to problems with blood vessels. And if in a healthy person( mainly at a young age) they are elastic and strong, then with age their walls become thin and often covered with peculiar plaques.

The pressure to clog the blood vessels can become a sharp pressure drop in your body. As a result, they do not withstand the load, clog up, and in some cases even burst. Consequently, the usual movement of blood becomes impossible, and the brain stem is damaged.

The mechanism of the stroke in this case occurs according to the following scheme: first one of the cerebral vessels is clogged, then the walls of the vessel burst, and a hemorrhage arises leading to the formation of a hematoma. It seems to shield the affected vessel from others and does not allow oxygen to it. Then the energy pulse ceases to be given to the stem brain, the failure occurs, and the remaining organs can not work together smoothly.

How does ischemic stroke occur?

Ischemic stroke is considered the most dangerous type of cerebrovascular disease. According to doctors, the problem is acute disruption of blood circulation and extensive damage to the brain tissue. At the same time, the blood can not reach certain parts of the regulator, there is a violation of their structure( softening), which leads to a complete withering of the tissues. It is a fast and irreversible process.

As a rule, such a negative consequence as ischemia leads to diabetes mellitus, rheumatism, hypertension or atherosclerosis.

Therefore, in order to avoid negative consequences, it is necessary to identify and conduct treatment of the brain stem in a timely manner, as well as to get rid of the attendant ailments that can lead to ischemia.

What kinds of tumors of the brain stem are there?

All tumors of the brain stem can be conditionally divided into nine species. They happen:

  • primary-stem( appear from the affected tissues of the trunk);
  • exophytally-stemmed( arise in the cerebellum or the ventricle shells and only then reach the trunk);
  • secondary-stem;
  • cerebellar( their epicenter appears in the region of the legs of the cerebellum, and then gradually splits into the trunk);
  • diamond-shaped( arise in the area of ​​a diamond-shaped depression);
  • is parachute;
  • deforming( lead to a change in the shape of the brain stem).

There is also a diffuse tumor of the brainstem that can not be treated and, in most cases, leads to a fatal outcome. Recall that a tumor occurs when the body cells begin to divide improperly.

What is glioma?

Gliomas are considered malignant lesions. In other words, when they are detected, physicians are usually diagnosed with "CNS cancer"( central nervous system).These types of tumors are rare for preschool children.

However, they are spoken of as the most aggressive types of cancer, leading to rapid growth of damaged and destroying healthy tissues. In this case, the cells of this tumor quickly divide and spread to a considerable distance from the place of their primary education.

The danger of such unnatural seals is that the neoplasm begins to grow directly inside the cerebral trunk, blocking the blood flow and oxygen for other organs. Subsequently, a brain tumor in children of school and adolescence or in adults can lead to visual, hearing, speech and even paralysis.

What is diffuse tumor formation? Benign and malignant tumors have different growth rates. So, in the first case, neoplasms can grow in years and do not bring much harm to their owners. The other, on the contrary, grow rapidly.

And, of course, depending on the type of tumor and the diagnosis, the neoplasm may be operable or not( not subject to surgical intervention).It is to these and is a diffuse tumor of the brain stem. It is characterized by a complete lack of a septum between the neoplasm and the medulla. And sometimes it is so strongly intertwined with the tissues of the bridge that it simply can not be removed painlessly without damaging the brain.

At what age can the brain tumor be observed in children?

According to many years of research, tumors can be observed in both children and adults. And the danger to get a dangerous illness in the latter occurs between three and nine years. It is at this age that about 7-11% of cases of childhood diseases occur.

Depending on which of the organs of the body have a tumor arises a child, he may develop facial asymmetry and strabismus, dizziness and other symptoms, which we will soon tell. So, what are the symptoms observed in patients with tumors and brainstem dysfunction and why do they occur? Reasons

brainstem diseases Among the main reasons, which may occur when certain symptoms and diseases of the brain stem, are the following:

  • various vascular diseases;
  • trauma of the cranium;
  • damage and spasms of blood vessels( lead to circulatory disorders);
  • smoking and drinking alcohol;
  • nervous breakdowns and stress;
  • experiments and extreme life;
  • unhealthy food and lifestyle;
  • regular use of contaminated water.

And of course, another congenital anomaly is considered to be one more cause of the development of diseases( one of them is the glioma of the brainstem).Besides about its existence you can and never learn. As a rule, it can be recognized only through specialized research in clinics.

Yes, and it may not bother you at all. But if you get injured or a small blow to the head, it will be the beginning of a chain reaction, eventually leading to the development of a dangerous disease.

How are tumor formations manifested?

The presence of tumor formation can be determined by a number of symptoms. For example, problems with the brain stem can occur with unexpected dizziness and intense pain syndromes.

In addition, patients, as a rule, have problems with vision and coordination of movements, with hearing. They can also have sharp mood swings, impaired orientation in space and the emergence of tremors of hands and head.

How to detect the tumor in time?

The simplest way to detect a tumor in a timely manner is by performing a magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. According to experts, this is a very effective method, not carrying any danger even for the children being examined. The method consists in a kind of scanning the brain on a special apparatus. The main thing that it gives is the ability to detect even a very small neoplasm.

The second version of the diagnosis is a CT scan. He also shows the result on the screen and gives medical representatives a clear picture of the patient's condition.

How is a brain tumor treated?

When a tumor is detected, medics are prescribed appropriate treatment. In particular, benign neoplasms having a separate membrane and septum can be easily removed surgically. In such situations, the patient gets rid of the tumor and continues to live on. However, similar neoplasms are observed in about 19-25% of patients. In most cases, malignant tumors are detected that do not lend themselves to the scalpel of a doctor.

As an alternative method of treatment a patient can be offered radiation therapy. It involves exposure to a tumor with highly active X-rays. According to experts, it is it that allows you to slow the growth of the neoplasm, get rid of repeated relapses, and sometimes prepare the patient for surgery.

Another type of treatment is stereotaxic therapy. This is one of the new methods, suggesting the use of several types of irradiation of the tumor. In particular, the "Gamma Knife" and "Cyber-knife" are used. In the first case, the patient puts on the head a special helmet and undergoes radiological radiation. And the procedure itself allows you to concentrate directly on the epicenter of the neoplasm. In the second case, robotic equipment is used with the possibility of radiation. This unit independently determines the dosage and the time of irradiation.

When using stereotaxic therapy, patients tend to feel almost no pain. However, before it is performed, patients are assigned tomography and magnetic resonance therapy.

Another way to combat an unwanted guest in the body is chemotherapy. It involves the use of special cytotoxic drugs that help stop growth and remove the neoplasm.

To achieve a greater effect in detecting oncology, specialists can use a mixed treatment system. This means that the patient's recovery program can include several types of therapy and procedures, including surgical intervention.

What is the HIT-HGG 2007 protocol?

Treatment of children is usually controlled by certain rules. In particular, physicians can use the so-called protocol HIT-HGG 2007, which provides for the simultaneous operation and two types of therapy for the child( chemistry and radiation).Moreover, in time, for example, the passage of a toddler or adolescent chemotherapy takes no more than 5-6 weeks.

The main task of this treatment is to initially reduce the tumor. And radiotherapy in this case plays the role of a control shot and allows you to eliminate possible shortcomings of the two previous methods of treatment.