On Wednesday, 24th Jan our class (8A) had a Skype interaction with Walid Yaasin- a neuropsychiatrist who studies at The University of Tokyo. He is a research assistant as well. He had a lot of information to enlighten us with. He first talked about the nervous system telling us how the nervous system manifests into behavior and how we can actually control our behavior. He showed us videos how a head injury can manifest into larger traumatic diseases.
He explained to us the two types of head injury:-
1. When blood starts coming out of your brain which is called Focal Head injury.
2. When you hit your head on a cabinet but there was no bleeding that injury is called Diffuse Axonal injury.
He explained that there is a liquid inside the brain. When you hit your head, your brain goes forward and backward with the liquid. After which, the grey and white matter start to slide against each other and as a result break. The cell body dies soon after. The neurotransmitters are released when the cell body dies.
He soon drifted into the topic of how diffuse axonal head injury leads to narcolepsy with cataplexy. Narcolepsy is when you suddenly fall asleep. Cataplexy is when you're paralyzed. He shared a video with us where a man is diagnosed with the disease- narcolepsy with cataplexy. He shared that the man diagnosed with that disease would go to sleep and paralyze when positive emotions flowed through his body. He showed us an MRI scan of the human brain and showed the area where positive emotions and released. When positive emotions are released the hypothalamus activates the brain stem which results in a negative reaction by the brain stem causing paralysis. The hypothalamus is the part of the brain right below thalamus. The hypothalamus regulates sleep, hunger, thirst and mood swings in the body.
He talked to us telling us about spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord has vertebrates that connect and form the spinal cord. Getting hurt in a vertebrate means that the area where the vertebrate is attached will also suffer from the injury.
In the end, he did an activity with us where we kept our hand vertically upright pointing a finger. We then closed our eyes and attempted to get our finger to the tip of our nose. If we were able to do it that means that our brain is in good shape. These activities were done with adolescents to check their cerebrum. The activities are called Neuro-development tools.
He answered the class's questions and helped us understand our brain and the nervous system much better. After the conference its evident that we gained knowledge beyond classroom learning .It also gave us a whole other insight into the brain and the nervous system. It made us understand the importance of the brain and how traumatic a small injury can be. I acquired so much knowledge in just an hour of a skype conversation. This definitely made me realize how beautiful and yet complicated the mind is. I am grateful that this in a way made me feel how fortunate I am to have all my body organs in good health and shape. We enjoyed our time learning with Mr. Walid and hope to learn more!