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Healthline Mental Health

What to know about the brain

The brain is the human body’s control system, and is part of the central nervous system (CNS). It connects to the spine and controls personality, movement, breathing, and other crucial processes that keep people alive. It is the most complex organ in the body.
An average adult brain weighs 3 pounds and is composed of 60% fat, with water, protein, carbohydrates, and salt accounting for the other 40%. The brain is an organ made up of neural tissue. It is not a muscle.
The brain is made up of three main parts, which are the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem. Each of these has a unique function and is made up of several parts as well.
Keep reading to learn more about the different parts of the brain, the processes they control, and how they all work together. This article also looks at some ways of maintaining a healthy brain.

Why is the brain important?

The brain is the command center that controls the nervous system. When people damage different parts of the brain, they may notice changes in their personality, movement, vision, sleep, and other important bodily functions.

A traumatic brain injury or stroke are some conditions that cause brain death. A person can technically be alive after brain death, but they will never regain consciousness. To sustain life, doctors place the person on artificial life support to keep the heart and lungs working. The heart has a separate electrical systemTrusted Source from the brain, which is why it still beats for a short while after brain activity stops.

Doctors will carry out many tests before reaching a diagnosis of brain death. Brain death is a traumatic experience for everyone involved. It can be particularly difficult to come to terms with the diagnosis, especially if a person can see their loved one breathing and showing signs of life.

The brain is composed of three main structuresTrusted Source, the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brain stem.

The brain sends chemical and electrical signals throughout the body to regulate different biological functions and sense environmental changes. The brain communicates with the majority of the body through the spinal cord. To do this, it uses billions of nerve cells throughout the CNS.


The cerebrum is the front part of the brain and includes the cerebral cortex.
This part of the brain is responsible for many processes, including:
  • initiating and controlling movement
  • thinking
  • emotion
  • problem-solving
  • learning
The cerebrum is responsible for personality. If a person experiences trauma to the cerebrum, in particular the frontal lobe, their friends and family may notice changes in their demeanor, mood, and emotions.
Cerebral cortex
The cerebral cortex covers the cerebrum and has many folds. Due to its large surface area, the cerebral cortex accounts for 50% of the brain’s total weight.
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