We have been discussing Alzheimer’s disease. We ended up in our last meeting discussing the normal brain. It is important to understand normality in order to differentiate the abnormal brain that develops from this condition. I would suggest that if you have not read part one of this series it would prove beneficial to start there before entertaining part 2.

We touched briefly on the initiation of an action potential that is when a nerve  fires and sends a nerve impulse down its arm called axon. We also mentioned that neurons number in the billions and their connections equate to trillions. But where do these messages go? The brain for study and function purposes is separated into lobes. There are the basic 4 lobes on each side called frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital. There are also many other parts of the brain that have lobes but for the sake of this discussion we will look at these 4. The brain is divided into halves called hemispheres. There is a right side and a left side. Thus there are 4 lobes on each side totaling 8. To simplify our discussion we will make it very simple in regards to the function of each of the lobes.

The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behavior. It is, in essence, the “control panel” of our personality and our ability to communicate and motor or muscle function.

The parietal lobe carries out some very specific functions. As a part of the cortex, it has a lot of responsibilities and has to be able to process sensory information within seconds. The parietal lobe is where information such as taste, temperature and touch are integrated, or processed. Humans would not be able to feel sensations of touch, if the parietal lobe was damaged.

 

The Temporal Lobe mainly revolves around hearing and selective listening. It receives sensory information such as sounds and speech from the ears. It is also key to being able to comprehend, or understand meaningful speech. In fact, we would not be able to understand someone talking to us, if it wasn’t for the temporal lobe. This lobe is special because it makes sense of the all the different sounds and pitches (different types of sound) being transmitted from the sensory receptors of the ears. It also plays a significant role in memory.

 

The occipital lobe is important to being able to correctly understand what your eyes are seeing. These lobes have to be very fast to process the rapid information that our eyes are sending. Similar to how the temporal lobe makes sense of auditory information, the occipital lobe makes sense of visual information so that we are able to understand it. If our occipital lobe was impaired, or injured we would not be able to correctly process visual signals, thus visual confusion would result.

 

 

These are the basic 4 lobes one on each side. As I said previously that there are a vast number of brain segments, especially if one goes deep within the brain this will not be discussed here, but it is mentioned to touch upon how complex and intricate this marvelous structure is.

In Part 3 we will begin to understand the individual brain cell and its components. This is important in order to understand what components break down, and the potential causes of this breakdown.

Dr. Paul Stefanelli

Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist

Fellow of the American College of Functional Neurology

Nutritionist