We now know a lot about the brain, but there are still many aspects that need to be discovered. Professor Alberto Albanese, Head of Neurology at Humanitas, guest at Cuore and Denari on Radio 24, spoke about the brain.

“The brain has been created by layers, which have been added during evolution; therefore our brain is not simply more complex than that of animals or inferior species, but it has stratified with the presence of discontinuities in phylogenetic evolution, that is from inferior animals to man.

We know that the brain is plastic, a decision-maker, but also able to listen and change. This possibility of changing the capacity of brain connection and therefore of functioning, is one of the most interesting and fascinating aspects in which we can also invest on a personal level, because it means that we can change our brain.

We also know a lot about the diseases that affect the brain and today, compared to thirty years ago, we have different drugs and therapies and expect to better treat patients who suffer from them and maybe even defeat some of these diseases,” explains Prof. Albanese.


The brain never sleeps

“Sleep is fundamental for our health and for our brain, it is in fact a moment of recovery and biochemical reconstitution; in fact, there is the synthesis of important components of neurons, so that the neurons rest, but renew and regenerate themselves in sleep. Not sleeping, as is the case with certain particular diseases such as fatal family insomnia, is incompatible with life. Sleep is absolutely essential not only for living, but also for well being,” the professor continues.


Is it true that we only use a part of our brain?

“Yes, and this is absolutely normal. This does not mean that our brain is inactive, but that it works in blocks, like a computer,” says Professor Albanese.