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Lisa B.'s picture

The smallest boxes

The continuing theme of every discussion seems to be the remarkable demands placed on the brain. This week we learned that the smallest of building blocks are neurons that are highly specialized for signal transmission in the nervous system. Although they are only micrometers in diameter neurons respond to information from the outside world and form new connections. Most neuron activity is not the result of outside stimuli, but the activity inside the nervous system.

Dickinson wrote that the brain is wider than the sky, but humans still suffer devastating neuronal loss.  The box theory fails to explain diseases of old age. If the nervous system is dependent on the interconnections between neurons, why not circumnavigate the destructed areas of the brain? Could neural stem cells replace malfunctioning boxes to avoid memory loss associated with Alzheimer's?


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