Anatomy and Physiology

A basic knowledge of how the brain works will help you to understand traumatic brain injury and some of the effects it can have on the brain. Before we can understand what happens when a brain is injured, it will be helpful to know how a healthy brain works and what it does.

How the brain works

  • The brain is the control center for the whole body.
  • It controls our consciousness, how we think, learn and remember.
  • It controls how we move. It also controls our personality and how we act.
  • The brain is responsible for controlling our heart rate, breathing and blood pressure.
  • Each part of the brain serves a specific function and links with other parts of the brain to carry out more complicated functions.
  • The brain is made up of three parts: the cerebral hemispheres, the cerebellum and the brainstem.
  • Despite being protected by the thick bones of the skull, and suspended in cerebrospinal fluid, the brain is susceptible to damage and disease.
  • The most common forms of physical damage are closed head injuries such as a blow to the head, a stroke, or poisoning by a variety of chemicals such as alcohol.