Thursday, January 01, 2009

Fascinating facts you never knew about the brain

Here are ten facts offered, courtesy a nursing assistants' program:

1. Weight. The weight of the human brain is about 3 lbs.

2. Cerebrum. The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and makes up 85% of the brain’s weight.

3. Skin. Your skin weighs twice as much as your brain. Gray matter. The brain’s gray matter is made up of neurons, which gather and transmit signals.

4. White matter. The white matter is made up of dendrites and axons, which create the network by which neurons send their signals.

5. Gray and white. Your brain is 60% white matter and 40% gray matter.

6. Water. The brain is made up of about 75% water.

7. Neurons. Your brain consists of about 100 billion neurons. Synapses. There are anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 synapses for each neuron.

8. No pain. There are no pain receptors in the brain, so the brain can feel no pain.

9. Largest brain. While an elephant’s brain is physically larger than a human brain, the human brain is 2% of total body weight (compared to 0.15% of an elephant’s brain), meaning humans have the largest brain to body size.

10. Blood vessels. There are 100,000 miles of blood vessels in the brain.

Hey, read the rest here. And remember, most of the time, doctors don't save your life. Nurses and nursing assistants do. That's just true. Get used to it.


Why we need to be careful about what we read in popular media about new science findings

Here is how Wyeth bought favourable medical journal articles. More here:
According to internal documents, the pharmaceutical company Wyeth "paid ghostwriters to produce medical journal articles favorable to its female hormone replacement therapy Prempro." As early as 1997, Wyeth paid the "medical writing firm" DesignWrite to publish favorable journal articles about Prempro under academics' names. "Company executives came up with ideas" for the articles, "titled them, drafted outlines, paid writers to draft the manuscripts, recruited academic authors and identified publications to run the articles -- all without disclosing the companies' roles to journal editors or readers."
Hey, look. I went through menopause years ago, and it was way worse than I had been led to believe by feminist sources.

Feminist sources said menopause was way less difficult than having a baby - but I had two babies with zero problems (in my twenties, when I was practically indestructible) - and nonetheless found menopause a hell of unpredicted physical problems.

Note: Menopause seems to attract instant experts who don't really know anything except that "It's okay." Of COURSE it's okay. It's part of life. I was hoping for suggestions for relief of symptoms, not a general declaration that it is, like, okay ... (as if the alternative - early death - was especially attractive for some reason ... )

Life, ... we who are about to survive, salute you!

Of course I got through menopause. And I am certainly not going to say that Wyeth's specific treatment won't help. All I want to endorse as 100 percent true is: You must use your own judgment to figure out what is working for you. If it is not working for you, it is not working. Keep that in mind, so that you can help medical personnel to make their best decisions when helping you.