Download Brain Facts: A Primer on the Brain and Nervous System 4th by The Society for Neuroscience PDF

By The Society for Neuroscience

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Extra resources for Brain Facts: A Primer on the Brain and Nervous System 4th edition (2002)

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Primary brain tumors arise within the brain, whereas secondary brain tumors spread from other parts of the body through the bloodstream. For tumors starting in the brain, about 60 percent of which are malignant, the cause is unknown. Tumors 42 that begin as cancer elsewhere and then spread to the brain are always malignant. The incidence of primary brain tumors is about 12 per 100,000 population. About 36,000 new cases occur in the United States annually. Because of di≈culties in diagnosing and classifying brain tumors, exact statistics on secondary tumors are unknown.

Most idiopathic epilepsies are likely due to inheriting a mutant gene, more than a dozen of which have been identified during the last decade. Symptomatic epilepsies result from a wide variety of brain diseases or injuries, including birth trauma, brain infection such as abscess or meningitis, brain tumors, and stroke. Seizures are of two types, generalized and partial. Generalized seizures, which typically result in loss of consciousness, can cause several behavioral changes, including convulsions or sudden changes in muscle tone, and arise when there is simultaneous excessive electrical activity over a wide area of the brain.

The process of becoming addicted appears to be influenced by many factors. Motivation for drug use is an important one. For example, people who take drugs to get high may get addicted, but people who use them properly as medicine rarely do. Genetic susceptibility or environmental factors, such as stress, may also alter 36 the way that people respond to drugs. In addition, the development of tolerance — the progressive need that accompanies chronic use for a higher drug dose to achieve the same e∑ect — varies in di∑erent people, as does drug dependence — the adaptive physiological state that results in withdrawal symptoms when drug use stops.

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