Book explores mysteries of the brain

  What do we really know about the brain? Sure, it sits inside your head, doing all your thinking, but what is it really made up of, and how does it work?
  It takes a passionate person to make a subject like the brain interesting to lay people. But Dr. R. Douglas Fields is one passionate guy when it comes to the intricate workings of the human brain and how its miraculous and mysterious makeup could be the answer to many mental and physical diseases.
  In his book, “The Other Brain: From Dementia to Schizophrenia, How New Discoveries About The Brain Are Revolutionizing Medicine and Science,” Fields explains in detailed but understandable terms how a substance in the brain called glia is sparking a revolution in the science and medical world today.
  Long considered little more than brain packing material, glia (which means glue) has been found to have its own communication network, similar to the neurons in our brains, which regulate the flow of information between neurons. Fields begins his explanation of this miraculous discovery with the story of Albert Einstein’s brain and how 30 years after his death, doctors discovered that Einstein’s brain actually held a great abundance of glia, which must have played a significant role in his intelligence and creativity.
  Fields also explains how the discovery of the importance of glia has provided potential breakthroughs in medical science in areas of research for brain cancer, multiple sclerosis, psychiatric diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, as well as chronic pain. Scientists also have discovered that the glia can repair the brain and spinal cord after injuries or strokes, and Fields cites the late Christopher Reeves’ great interest in glia research.
  Fields’ enthusiasm for his research and work shines through his writing in “The Other Brain.” He is obviously very eager for the normal, everyday person to understand the great significance of these findings and to know how important these new discoveries could be to the human race. Fascinating reading for anyone who has experienced brain-related disease or injury or for anyone just interested in how that lump above our shoulders actually works.

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