A few amazing facts about the human brain:
- The brain is considered the most complex object in the known universe.
- The average adult human brain weighs 3.3 pounds and is about 70% water. Even a minor amount of dehydration can affect your cognitive abilities. Of the non-water portion of the brain, 60% of it is fat.
- Neurons are the specialized cells in the brain. There are about 85 Billion of them in our brains! There are about 10,000 different specialized neurons in our brains.
- The 85 Billion neurons are linked by 100 Trillion synapses, or about 10-12 thousand connections per neuron. To put that in context – 100 Trillion is 1,000 times greater than the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy. A piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand contains 100,000 neurons and 1 billion synapses all communicating with each other.
- The brain contains 100,000 miles of nerve fibers.
- We’ve learned more about the brain in the past 20 years than in all of prior human history combined. Yet, we still do not have a viable explanation for consciousness and do not totally understand how it works.
- Paradoxically, the human brain is the only organ in the body that contains no pain nerves and thus feels no pain.
- The blood-brain barrier protects the brain and is made up of a network of blood vessels and other tissue. This barrier keeps harmful substances such as bacteria from reaching the brain but does allow water, carbon dioxide and oxygen to flow in and out of the brain. The blood-brain barrier has a downside as well as many beneficial medications, including some anti-cancer drugs, are unable to pass the barrier. Fortunately, alcohol is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier.