Incredible Medical Video Of A Freshly Removed Human Brain

Amazing Medical Video Of A Freshly Removed Human Brain Demonstrates The Importance Of This Organ
University of Utah Neuroscience Initiative/YouTube

Although you use your brain to do a lot of thinking, you possibly don't think about your brain that often. It's an unbelievably complex and precious organ. It's also amazingly squishy, as you can see in a fascinating teaching video that shows a freshly removed brain straight from an autopsy.


As the neuroanatomist handles its vulnerable blob with the utmost care, it is awe-inspiring to realize that everyone has a squishy brain exactly like it - and it contains each of our memories and thoughts.


The following video, published on YouTube by the University of Utah Neuroscience Initiative back in 2013, is aimed at students who do not have access to 'fresh' brains like this one and have just preserved brains, models, and images as study aids.


As neuroanatomist Suzanne Stensaas says in the video:


"Students tend to think that the brain is sort-of the consistency of a rubber ball, and that's because in the laboratories, and teaching specimens, we have formalin-fixed brains. However, if you're a trauma surgeon or a neurosurgeon, you realize that the brain is really very, very soft, and much more vulnerable than the impression you get when you're looking at the fixed brain."

As Stensaas is holding the 1.4 kg (3 lbs) brain in both palms, it is absolutely crazy to realize that right there is the whole set of life experiences of what used to be a living, feeling human being.


According to Stensaas, the cancer patient whose autopsy the brain is from died from cell transplant complications. Seeing how Stensaas handles the specimen, we feel honored to be able to learn so many things thanks to the patient who decided to donate their body to science.


The brain is usually protected by several membranes, cushioned by the cerebrospinal fluid and further encased within the hardy casing of the skull. Therefore, seeing it out in the open is a jarring reminder of how precious the brain truly is.


And that's actually one of the video's purposes - apart from being a teaching material, the university aimed "to stress the vulnerability of the brain to highlight the importance of wearing helmets, seat belts, and taking care of this very precious tissue."


After seeing this, it's indeed hard to put into words just how incredibly fragile the brain is.


"It's much softer than most of the meat you would see in the market," Stensaas says while she's gently rotating the organ to demonstrate the hemispheres and the wrinkly cerebellum.


Although she continues to rotate it, probably to avoid holding it in one place for too long, she leaves a slight indentation of her finger on top of one of the hemispheres.


It turns out that even when a brain is preserved in a fixation solution, it cannot be left sitting at the bottom of the tank as this will make it squat and out of shape - thus, scientists loop a cord through one of the arteries to suspend the brain in the liquid.


There's also something like a piece of fabric stuck between the two hemispheres - that's the dura mater, the outermost of the three membranes which protect the brain.


As Stensaas points out the various anatomical features, you also get a clear glimpse of the brainstem, that looks shockingly thin if you think of how many of our vital nerve impulses travel back and forth through that tiny bundle of nerves.


The video is indeed quite graphic, but amazing at the same time, so we encourage you to watch it and share your thoughts below!



Reference: Science Alert

Incredible Medical Video Of A Freshly Removed Human Brain Incredible Medical Video Of A Freshly Removed Human Brain Reviewed by Κατερίνα Παπ on 9:55 AM Rating: 5

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