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!
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