Monday, March 12, 2012

Brain Awareness Week

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By Diane Forrest, RN

If I Only Had A Brain:
I could wile away the hours
Conferrin' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain
And my head I'd be scratchin'
While my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain

I'd unravel any riddle
For any individ'le
In trouble or in pain

With the thoughts you'd be thinkin'
You could be another Lincoln
If you only had a brain

Oh, I would tell you why
The ocean's near the shore
I could think of things I never thunk before
And then I'd sit and think some more

I would not be just a nuffin'
My head all full of stuffin'
My heart all full of pain
I would dance and be merry
Life would be a ding-a-derry
If I only had a brain

When I first saw this topic on the calendar I said to the boss...what is this about?? Surely people are aware they have a brain, even though I know a few people who prefer not to use theirs at times!

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He then sent me the following: According to, Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is an inspirational global campaign that unites those who share an interest in elevating public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain and nervous system research.

BAW focuses international attention on the field of neuroscience and offers opportunities for teachers and students to engage in fun educational activities. From dynamic classroom presentations and laboratory tours to enlightening museum exhibits and public lectures, BAW activities
  • Inspire the next generation of scientists;
  • Contribute to general understanding of basic brain functions;
  • Improve public health by expanding awareness of neurological disorders; and
  • Make the connection between increased support for bio-medical research and benefits to public health.

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The next thing I thought about is the Wizard of Oz, the scarecrow, and the song “If I only had a Brain”.  Then I thought about Hannibal Lector cooking up that man's brain and making him eat it and things got weird from there.  Soo...I got back on track and decided to give you a little bit of information about the brain.  The brain consists of 5 parts.  They are:
  • Cerebrum;
  • Cerebellum;
  • The Brain Stem;
  • The Pituitary gland; and
  • Hypothalamus.

The cerebrum makes up the largest part of the brain.  It is divided into two halves.  It controls your muscles, you’re thinking, your memory.  There is a left side, and a right side.  The left side controls your analytical thoughts like math, logic and speech while the right side controls your abstract things like music, colors, and shapes.

The cerebellum is located at the back of the brain at the bottom.  It controls balance, movement, and coordination.

The brain stem sits beneath the cerebrum and in front of the cerebellum. It connects the rest of the brain to the spinal cord, which runs down your neck and back. The brain stem is in charge of all the functions your body needs to stay alive, like breathing air, digesting food, and circulating blood.

The pituitary gland is very small — only about the size of a pea! Its job is to produce and release hormones into your body.

The hypothalamus is like your brain's inner thermostat; it regulates your body's temperature.

All these parts work together to make you who you are.  This is Brain Awareness Week.  For help in expanding your brain, and for more information, visit this site.

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