The Other Brain: The Scientific and Medical Breakthroughs That Will Heal Our Brains and Revolutionize Our Health

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Overview

Despite everything that has been written about the brain, a potentially critical part of this vital organ has been overlooked—until now. The Other Brain examines the growing importance of glia, which make up approximately 85 percent of the cells in the brain, and the role they play in how the brain functions, malfunctions, and heals itself.

Long neglected as little more than cerebral packing material, glia (meaning “glue”) are now known to regulate the flow of information ...

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The Other Brain: From Dementia to Schizophrenia, How New Discoveries about the Brain Are Revolutionizing Medicine and Science

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Overview

Despite everything that has been written about the brain, a potentially critical part of this vital organ has been overlooked—until now. The Other Brain examines the growing importance of glia, which make up approximately 85 percent of the cells in the brain, and the role they play in how the brain functions, malfunctions, and heals itself.

Long neglected as little more than cerebral packing material, glia (meaning “glue”) are now known to regulate the flow of information between neurons and to repair the brain and spinal cord after injury and stroke. But scientists are also discovering that diseased and damaged glia play a significant role in psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression, and in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Diseased glia cause brain cancer and multiple sclerosis and are linked to infectious diseases such as HIV and prion disease (mad cow disease, for example) and to chronic pain. The more we learn about these cells that make up the “other” brain, the more important they seem to be.

Written by a neuroscientist who is a leader in glial research, The Other Brain gives readers a much more complete understanding of how the brain works and an intriguing look at potentially revolutionary developments in brain science and medicine.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
The Other Brain offers an insightful, complex, and nuanced picture of the most interesting substance on earth: the matter inside our heads.”
—Anthony Doerr, The Boston Globe
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743291422
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 1/11/2011
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 360,639
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface VII

Acknowledgments IX

Part I Discovering the Other Brain

Chapter 1 Bubble Wrap or Brilliant Glue? 3

Chapter 2 A Look Inside the Brain: The Cellular Components of the Brain 16

Chapter 3 Transmissions from the Other Brain: Glia Know and Control Your Mind 48

Part II Glia in Health and Disease

Mending the Mind: Glia Repairing Nervous System Damage and Disease 65

Chapter 4 Brain Cancer: Almost Nothing to Do with Neurons 69

Chapter 5 Brain and Spinal Cord Injury 80

Chapter 6 Infection 107

Chapter 7 Mental Health: Glia, Silent Partners in Mental Illness 133

Chapter 8 Neurodegenerative Disorders 162

Chapter 9 Glia and Pain: A Blessing and a Curse 183

Chapter 10 Glia and Addiction: A Neuron-Glia Dependence 200

Chapter 11 Mother and Child 209

Chapter 12 Aging: Glia Rage against the Dying Light 233

Part III Glia in Thought and Memory

Chapter 13 The Mind of the Other Brain: Glia Controlling the Conscious and Unconscious Mind 249

Chapter 14 Memory and Brain Power beyond Neurons 268

Chapter 15 Thinking beyond Synapses 280

Chapter 16 Into the Future: The New Brain 305

Glossary 311

Notes 323

Bibliography 329

Index 359

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted March 20, 2014

    I liked the way this book was written. It covered new discoveri

    I liked the way this book was written. It covered new discoveries made about just how the brain processes information, and how the new discoveries are affecting the treatments of various diseases and paralysis. An easy read but not overly "dummied down".

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