Unravel The Mysteries Of Brain
“The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.”-George Jessel
During my masters in psychology I came across the abnormal disorders of the brain like schizophrenia, hypochondria, depression etc. The Individuals suffering from these kind of disorders may compromise with work and their potential in life. Lost relationships and connections are some times result to end of life if not attended with extreme care of relatives or mental health professionals. These illnesses limit human possibilities in ways we simply cannot measure.
Measuring Devices For Brain
In recent times, we have profound medical progress at specific fields. The measuring devices have developed in such a way that we would get instant results. During recent invention, a new AI-powered paradigm for scientific discovery took place where they enabled possibilities of long history of looking at the retina to predict cardiovascular risk. But when it comes to the brain, that strategy has been limited, because today, we don’t know nearly enough, yet, about how the brain works. We need to learn which of our cells matter to each illness, and which molecules in those cells matter to each illness.
Complex Structure Of Brain
Our brains are composed of and built from billions of cells. And our cells are not generalists; they’re specialists. Like humans at work, they specialize into thousands of different cellular careers, or cell types. We know many important things about cell types. They can differ dramatically in size and shape. One will respond to a molecule that the other doesn’t respond to, they’ll make different molecules. It is not possible to know about particular cell but we can predict about the behaviour of average cells. Suppose if you want to know about the city or state of the nation, you have to know about diversity and specialisations. When you take mix fruit juice and generate data for benefits, you have to consider each fruit. In the same way patterns of thousands of cells can be predicted though DNA or RNA codes. Each cell type do its job differently. But every cell is connected to thousands of other cells which have different characteristics.
Scientists have another challenge. It is not about the single brain cells. It is about the brain cells of hundreds of thousands of brains living on this earth. Just like our thumbs, no brain is a like. Unfortunately brains are not physically accessible. The complex structure of brain varies significantly from individual to individual. Scientists are contributing to genetic studies in record numbers around the world and sharing to each other for faster progress.
Professor Jack L. Gallant, a scholar of Yale University narrated a study recently made about the genetics of schizophrenia. It was made possible by 50,000 people from 30 countries, who contributed their DNA to genetic research on schizophrenia. It had been known for several years that the human genome’s largest influence on risk of schizophrenia comes from a part of the genome that encodes many of the molecules in our immune system. But it wasn’t clear which gene was responsible. A scientist in his lab developed a new way to analyze DNA with computers, and he discovered something very surprising. He found that a gene called “complement component 4” — it’s called “C4” for short — comes in dozens of different forms in different people’s genomes, and these different forms make different amounts of C4 protein in our brains. And he found that the more C4 protein our genes make, the greater our risk for schizophrenia.
Now, C4 is still just one risk factor in a complex system. This isn’t big B, but it’s an insight about a molecule that matters. Complement proteins like C4 were known for a long time for their roles in the immune system, where they act as a kind of molecular Post-it note that says, “Eat me.” And that Post-it note gets put on lots of debris and dead cells in our bodies and invites immune cells to eliminate them. But two of his colleagues found that the C4 Post-it note also gets put on synapses in the brain and prompts their elimination. Now, the creation and elimination of synapses is a normal part of human development and learning. Our brains create and eliminate synapses all the time. But our genetic results suggest that in schizophrenia, the elimination process may go into overdrive.
But C4 is just one example of the potential for data-driven scientific approaches to open new fronts on medical problems that are centuries old. There are hundreds of places in our genomes that shape risk for brain illnesses, and any one of them could lead us to the next molecular insight about a molecule that matters. And there are hundreds of cell types that use these genes in different combinations. As we and other scientists work to generate the rest of the data that’s needed and to learn all that we can from that data, we hope to open many more new fronts. Genetics and single-cell analysis are just two ways of trying to turn the brain into a big data problem.
There is so much more we can do. Scientists in his lab are creating a technology for quickly mapping the synaptic connections in the brain to tell which neurons are talking to which other neurons and how that conversation changes throughout life and during illness. And we’re developing a way to test in a single tube how cells with hundreds of different people’s genomes respond differently to the same stimulus. These projects bring together people with diverse backgrounds and training and interests — biology, computers, chemistry, math, statistics, engineering. But the scientific possibilities rally people with diverse interests into working intensely together.
What’s the future that we could hope to create? Consider cancer. We’ve moved from an era of ignorance about what causes cancer, in which cancer was commonly ascribed to personal psychological characteristics, to a modern molecular understanding of the true biological causes of cancer. That understanding today leads to innovative medicine after innovative medicine, and although there’s still so much work to do, we’re already surrounded by people who have been cured of cancers that were considered untreatable a generation ago. And millions of cancer survivors like his sister find themselves with years of life that they didn’t take for granted and new opportunities for work and joy and human connection. That is the future that we are determined to create around mental illness — one of real understanding and empathy and limitless possibility.
1. Let us make our brain best friend rather than worst enemy.
2. Nurture the brain with internal and external desirable stuff.