The brain is a soft, spongy mass of tissue. It is protected by:
- The bones of the skull
- Three thin layers of tissue (meninges)
- Watery fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) that flows through spaces between the meninges and through spaces (ventricles) within the brain
The brain directs the things we choose to do (like walking and talking) and the things our body does without thinking (like breathing). The brain is also in charge of our senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell), memory, emotions, and personality.
A network of nerves carries messages back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body. Some nerves go directly from the brain to the eyes, ears, and other parts of the head. Other nerves run through the spinal cord to connect the brain with the other parts of the body. Within the brain and spinal cord, glial cells surround nerve cells and hold them in place.
The three major parts of the brain control different activities:
- Cerebrum: The cerebrum uses information from our senses to tell us what is going on around us and tells our body how to respond. It controls reading, thinking, learning, speech, and emotions. The cerebrum is divided into the left and right cerebral hemispheres. The right hemisphere controls the muscles on the left side of the body. The left hemisphere controls the muscles on the right side of the body.
- Cerebellum: The cerebellum controls balance for walking and standing, and other complex actions.
- Brainstem: The brainstem connects the brain with the spinal cord. It controls breathing, body temperature, blood pressure, and other basic body functions.
Brain Cancer Facts
- About the brain
- Different types of tumors
- Risk factors
- Common symptoms
- Different types of tests involved in diagnosis
- Various treatment types
- 10 Steps: When you are diagnosed with brain cancer
Nobody expects a brain tumor will enter their life. These are the stories about what happens next. They are stories of hope, sadness, love, and loss. View the brain tumor stories and share your own story.
Free Brain Tumor Guide - Click to download. 96 pages of valuable resources, facts and tips about the medical, practical and emotional effects of brain tumors to help you (or an advocate) gain control and learn how to cope with the diagnosis.