The Brain With Hundreds of Types of Cells

Majid Ali, M.D.

November 18, 2014

If you ask doctors to name different types of brain cells, they will name four or five types and then shrug. If you tell then there are actually hundreds of brain cells, they will laugh sarcastically.

The real story of the brain is seldom told by doctors and the news media. This is because the truth has few buyers. What sells is promise of great discoveries. Hope with hype is easy to generate but it returns to haunt. Brain research will yield only limited results until its results are applied in clinical care in the holistic model.

The 21st century so far has been an age of brain research. This is great. Like brain researchers, I am excited with every technological breakthrough in the field. But I predict that all such advances will not mean much for people who need help with their brain disorders until the newer therapies are combined with robust efforts to preserve oxygen functions in the brain. Unless the issues of nutritional deficits, environmental toxicities, toxic thoughts, and inflammatory-immune disorders are effectivey addressed, the current enthusiasm will not yield meaningful results.

Here is something to consider from the journal Science of 31 October 2014:

“At a finer grain, the brain has hundreds of different neuron types, and individual synapses contain hundreds of different proteins (3). Duplication and divergence shape brain evolution (4), just as they do in biology more generally.”

“What would it mean for the cortex to be diverse rather than uniform? One possibility is that neuroscience’s quarry should be not a single canonical circuit, but a broad array of reusable computational primitives—elementary units of processing akin to sets of basic instructions in a microprocessor—perhaps wired together in parallel, as in the reconfigurable integrated circuit type known as the field-programmable gate array.”

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