Weighing in at just three pounds,the brain is the most complex and least understood organ in your body.Protected by the skull and bathed in protective cerebrospinal fluid,the brain controls countless tasks every minute of every day.
- It regulates your body temperature,blood pressure,heart rate and breathing.
- It directs your muscles and nerves so you can walk,stand and sit.
- The brain processes a constant flood of data about the world around you so you can reason and make the appropriate decisions.
- It organizes and files away your memories so you can retrieve them later.
- It gives you the ability to communicate through speech.
Your brain contains approximately 100 billion nerve cells know as neurons,which help you accomplish these tasks.A neuron is on/off switch just like the one you use to control the lights in you home.it is either in the off position or it is on,shooting an electrical signal through an axon (a ling fiber-optic cable carrying outgoing messages to other cells).When the signal gets to the end of the axon,it stimulates tiny sacs that release chemicals known as neurotransmitters.These neurotransmitters then jump across a gap called a synapse and attach to receptors on the neighboring cell.At any give moment,hundreds of these neurons are sending messages to various parts of your body via the spinal cord,causing a multitude of voluntary and involuntary reactions.
Under normal circumstances,this relay system works incredibly well.The message (or neurotransmitter) travels from neuron to neuron in the blink of an eye to carry out its appointed task.But sometimes things can go awry,and the neurotransmitters can’t make the leap from one neuron to the next.This is usually due to low levels of certain neurotransmitters like dopamine,epinephrine, norepinephrine or serothonin.When this accurs.it can affect your mood or your ability to think.