The Root of Thought: Unlocking Glia--the Brain Cell That Will Help Us Sharpen Our Wits, Heal Injury, and Treat Brain Disease

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9780137151714: The Root of Thought: Unlocking Glia--the Brain Cell That Will Help Us Sharpen Our Wits, Heal Injury, and Treat Brain Disease

Until recently, neuroscientists thought glial cells did little more than hold your brain together. But in the past few years, they've discovered that glial cells are extraordinarily important. In fact, they may hold the key to understanding intelligence, treating psychiatric disorders and brain injuries and perhaps even curing fatal conditions like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Lou Gehrig's Disease. In The Root of Thought, leading neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Koob reveals what we've learned about these remarkable cells, from their unexpected role in information storage to their function as adult stem cells that can keep your brain growing and adapting longer than scientists ever imagined possible. Ranging from fruit flies to Einstein, Koob reveals the surprising correlation between intelligence and the brain's percentage of glial cells - and why these cells' unique wavelike communications may be especially conducive to the fluid information processing human beings depend upon. You'll learn how crucial glial cells grow and develop... why almost all brain tumors are comprised of glial cells and the potential implications for treatment... even the apparent role of glial cells in your every thought and dream!

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From the Back Cover:

Discover the Other 90% of Your Brain Learn about brain science breakthroughs that might hold the key to intelligence, creativity, and imagination. Discover amazing cells that keep your brain growing, adapting, and healing. Preview possible breakthroughs for brain cancer, brain trauma, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and even schizophrenia. If you know anything about brains, you've heard of neurons. Those are the cells that have long been seen as central to virtually everything your brain thinks, feels, and does. But neurons represent only 10% of your brain cells.
What does the other 90% do? Until recently, scientists didn't have a clue. Now, they're discovering the real function of those long-neglected glial cells-and the story is nothing short of amazing. In "The Root of Thought," brain scientist Andrew Koob reveals that story. You'll learn what glial cells are, how they function, and how they might help explain everything from intelligence and creativity to imagination and dreams. Then, Koob reveals the tantalizing clues about glial cells that could eventually lead to cures for brain injury, psychiatric disorders, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's disease, and even brain cancer. Chapter 1: Cities and Highways 1 Chapter 2: Dust Settles on the Battlefield 5 Chapter 3: I Sing the Body Electric 15 Chapter 4: Meet the Astrocyte 29 Chapter 5: Riding the Calcium Wave 41 Chapter 6: Hey Neuron, It's Me, Glia 55 Chapter 7: Developing Relationships 65 Chapter 8: The Time Machine 77 Chapter 9: Sing a New Song 89 Chapter 10: Albert Einstein's Abundant Astrocytes 99 Chapter 11: I Dream of Glia 111 Chapter 12: Gliadegenerative Disease 121 Chapter 13: Don't Insult Me 133 Chapter 14: The Seething Breeding Glioma 145 Chapter 15: Cities and Highways Revisited 155 Acknowledgments 159 About the Author 161 Index 163

About the Author:

Andrew Koob graduated from Northwestern University in 1998 and from Purdue University with a Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2005.  After graduation, he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in pediatric neurosurgery at Dartmouth College, followed by positions as a postdoctoral fellow for research in Parkinson’s Disease at the University of California, San Diego, and as a researcher in molecular neurogenetics at the University of Munich, Germany.

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Koob, Andrew
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