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INDEX Brain Upgrade|Neurotechnology| Medical Dictionary|How 1 to 10
Your brain is full of billions of microscopic cells. Many of these cells are special messengers called neurons. Neuron means "nerve cell." We have about 100 billion neurons in our body. To picture the size of a neuron, think about the fact that 30,000 neurons can fit on the head of a pin! Neurons carry special signals back and forth throughout your body. Billions of neurons are chained together in a network of nerves. Nerves are a large amounts of neurons linked together in a small place. Your nerves send tiny electronic signals through your body to the brain stem and to the main brain.
The neurons inside your brain have three basic parts. Every tiny neuron consists of a cell body, an axon, and a dendrite. Neurons "talk" to each other by sending chemicals to each other across a very tiny space called a synapse. Learning happens when two neurons "talk" to each other. As the brain makes connections, it actually grows dendrites and makes stronger synapses. That means that the more you learn, the heavier your brain gets! So that means you really can "grow" a better brain.
Do people loose brain cells as they get older? Yes, you loose brain cells every day because of decay and disuse. Scientists aren't sure how many you loose each day but you don't need to worry. You have enough to last for your whole lifetime.
Some people think that your brain can never grow new neurons. That isn't true. Scientists have found that one area of the brain called the hippocampus can grow new neurons. They are doing more research to see if there are other areas of the brain that regrow neurons.
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