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  1. Tiffany H.
    Bio F111X 001
    Steam Project

    The Brain and Alzheimer’s

    The objective I am focusing on for my project is the identification of the four main structures of the brain and their functions. The brain is very complex and the main structures are only pieces of the complexity, however, they also have an enormous impact on every part of our daily lives. How the brain fails to function, such as in diseases like Alzheimer’s, also changes our lives.
    The cerebrum is one of four major regions in the brain and includes the cerebral cortex which is divided into four main structures or lobes named for the bone they are associated with. The frontal lobe, the largest, is found directly beneath the frontal bone of the cranium. The parietal lobe is directly beneath the parietal bone. The occipital lobe is directly beneath the occipital bone, and the temporal lobe, the second largest, is beneath the temporal bone on the sides of the head.
    Frontal lobes are associated with motor functions, voluntary movements, or planning movements through the execution of commands. In fact, movements of certain body parts can be pinpointed to specific areas of the frontal lobe. Short term memory and consciousness also take place here. The prefrontal cortex is the most anterior portion and plays a part in aspects of personality such as the ability to plan ahead and self regulate.
    The parietal lobe is where somatosensation is processed. These are general sensations concerning the body such as touch, pressure, itch, tickle, pain, and vibrations. The parietal lobe also provides spatial information and even the ability to understand language and problem solve.
    Primary visual perception, distance, depth perception, object and color recognition all take place in the occipital lobe. The smallest of the lobes, this area also plays a part in language, storing of memories, and reading.
    The temporal lobe contains the cortical area for auditory processing and contains regions crucial for memory function. This area of the brain plays a major part in language, memory, senses, emotions and even visual recognition. Smell-stretching muscles and memory of movement of skin around the joints are activated in the temporal lobe, and it helps us respond to the world around us.
    Alzheimer’s is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disease which can affect all four lobes in the brain. It is related to the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques in the cerebral cortex and dense conglomerations of proteins that are not functioning properly. It causes degeneration of cells and when looking at the brain there is a visible presence of amyloid plaques and a massive loss of neurons. Alzheimer’s is characterized by neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles mostly affecting the medial temporal lobe and neocortical structures.
    Alzheimer’s affects both men and women, however, nearly two-thirds of its victims are women. It is thought that lack of estrogen may play a part as it regulates neurotransmission and protection against oxidative stress, yet, there are many other factors which may include a lack of vitamin D, air pollution, poor diet, heavy metals in the body, infections, cardiovascular disease, obesity (insulin related) and diabetes. There is no real answer to what exactly causes this disease.
    There are four stages of Alzherimer’s. The preclinical or presymptomatic stage can last for several years and usually presents as mild memory loss. There are usually no functional daily changes at this stage. In the second stage, several symptoms begin to appear. There will be obvious changes in daily life functions such as loss of concentration, memory, mood changes, disorientation of place and depression. Stage three is when the disease spreads to the cerebral cortex areas. Symptoms will be increased memory loss, trouble recognizing loved ones, loss of impulse control, loss of motor skills such as writing and also skills in reading and speaking. Stage four is severe and the disease spreads to the entire cortex area – all lobes. At this stage there is severe accumulation of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles which result in progressive functional and cognitive impairment. Most people are bedridden with difficulties in swallowing, with their bodily functions, and soon succumb to the disease. All of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s correlate with the functions of these four lobes in the brain.
    Shown in the pictures is a massive loss of neurons and degeneration of all parts of the brain. The clay brain affected should be somewhat smaller than it is as there is shrinkage in all of the brain with Alzheimer’s. However, it can present as holes in the brain and the cauliflower also shows a side that is intact and a side of the brain in degeneration.


    Breijyeh Z, Karaman R. (Dec 8, 2020). Comprehensive Review on Alzheimer’s Disease: Causes and Treatment. Molecules. 25(24):5789. doi: 10.3390/molecules25245789. PMID: 33302541; PMCID: PMC7764106.

    Eva M J Jackson, MPH and others, (2023). Promoting Healthy Aging: Public Health as a Leader for Reducing Dementia Risk, Public Policy & Aging Repor,;, prad011,

    Jill Seladi-Schulman, PhD ( Feb 11, 2020) What to Know About Your Brain’s Frontal Lobe

    Human Steam link:

    Tiffany Hoop

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