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What does our brain contain? Neurons! Yes, but still? Surprisingly, neurons represent less than half of the cells in our brain. But then what does our precious grey matter really contain? The 2021 edition of Brain Week has highlighted the unknown actors essential to the performance of our brain.
In this article, you can access the videos of the 9 conferences organized by the association Cerveau Point Comm, composed of researchers from Neuromarseille and co-financed by the NeuroMarseille Institute. This year’s theme will give you the opportunity to learn more about myelin and glial cells.
Stroke and physical activity
Conference of Jérôme Laurin (Associate Professor, INMED / Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille) as part of Brain Week 2021 Marseille, March 9, 2021.
In this presentation, we will look inside the brain of a stroke patient to analyse the state of cerebral blood vessels and glial cells. We will then discuss why treatments under development should have a beneficial impact on these cells to optimise the recovery of our motor and cognitive abilities after a stroke.
What’s in your skull?
Bistrot-Science of the researchers of the association Cerveau Point Comm within the framework of Brain Week 2021 Marseille, 15 March 2021.
What do we know about how our brain works? What have the latest advances in neuroscience taught us? This “bistro-science” will propose a playful journey into the mysteries of our brain thanks to an online quiz followed by an exchange (chat) between the public and researchers from the association Cerveau Point Comm. We count on the active participation of the audience in order to enrich the debates by exchanging. Your questions are welcome!
Glial cells: the stars of the brain come out of the shadows
Conference of Myriam Cayre (CNRS Research Supervisor, IBDM, Marseille) as part of Brain Week 2021 Marseille, March 16, 2021.
While we often talk about neurons, other cells that are often misunderstood will be described and decoded during this presentation: the glial cells. A chance to discover the other half of our brain. Described in the middle of the 19th century, glial cells, which include three subgroups (astrocytes, microglia, oligodendrocytes), have been neglected for a long time, probably because they do not produce electric current, unlike neurons. However, they are essential to the proper functions of the brain and play a key role in multiple physiological processes (modulation of neurotransmission, synchronization of the nervous signal, supply of nutrients to the neurons, elimination of waste products, immune monitoring, etc.). Their dysfunction is also at the origin of many nervous system pathologies.
How does the body talk to the brain to control our health and allow us to age well?
Conference of Vincent Prévot (Research Supervisor INSERM, Lille) as part of Brain Week 2021 Marseille, March 17, 2021.
Taking care of your health and ageing well is a challenge. The survival of the individual depends on the capacity of the brain to communicate permanently with the rest of the body. This dialogue is essential for regulating the major functions of living beings such as reproduction, growth and nutrition, but also for maintaining body balance. This conference will highlight recent discoveries that allow us to better understand the role of certain cells that act as “barrier gestures” within our brain. An important part of the conference will be devoted to discussion.
Myelin: a white substance to improve the performance of the grey matter
Conference of Catherine Faivre Sarrailh (CNRS Research Supervisor, INMED, Marseille) as part of Brain Week 2021 Marseille, March 19, 2021.
The stars of the brain are the neurons, which are organised in complex networks to perceive, integrate and transmit information. Neurons can emit very long extensions called axons, for example, to give commands from the motor cortex to the spinal cord. A special type of accompanying cells, the oligodendrocytes, wrap themselves around the axons to form an insulating sheath, the myelin. This sheath considerably speeds up the propagation of nerve impulses and synchronises the electrical signals between the different regions of the brain. At birth, the brain has very little myelin. Myelination is a process that continues until adolescence and is stimulated during learning in adults. Myelin is the target of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, but it is also altered in psychiatric diseases.
From neuron to thought: discovering the wonders of our brain
The debate of Jade Mériaux and Brandon Tanguy (Neuropsychologists, Association Neuropsy13, Marseille) as part of Brain Week 2021 Marseille, March 20, 2021.
Do you really know what your neurons are used for? For example, when you answer the phone, play pétanque or read a text…? Come and discover the wonders of our brain with two psychologists specialised in neuropsychology! We will discuss with you its main functions.
Healing through touch, from traditional medicines to tactile neurobiology
Conference of Marcel Crest (Emeritus research supervisor CNRS, Marseille) as part of Brain Week 2021 Marseille, March 22, 2021.
Traditional medicine places great importance on touch therapies. Is there really a benefit for patients? How does Western science view these treatments in light of our recent knowledge of the mechanisms of tactile sensitivity?
Psychological disorders in the perspective of neuroscience
Conference of Sylvie Thirion (Associate Professor, INT, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille) as part of Brain Week 2021 Marseille, March 23, 2021.
According to the World Health Organisation, one in four people will be affected by a mental disorder at some point in their lives; these disorders are among the main causes of morbidity and mortality. They cause a great deal of suffering and have repercussions on all aspects of the life of the patient and those around him. They constitute a major public health issue and a great deal of research is currently being conducted to better understand the etiology as well as the mechanisms and dysregulations at work.
The brain and decision making in extreme conditions
Conference-debate of Christelle Baunez (CNRS Research Supervisor, INT, Marseille) and Eric Grohin (Colonel of the fire brigade, Director of the Var Departmental Fire and Rescue Service (SDIS 83)) as part of Brain Week 2021 Marseille, March 24, 2021.
This conference will take a look at the current level of knowledge in neuroscience on how the brain works in this area. It will include a double perspective, that of a researcher and that of a fire brigade colonel. An important place will be given to exchanges. Anticipating, foreseeing, preventing the future… precautions are not always enough. If it is natural to have doubts, taking a decision in a situation characterised by great uncertainty and high stakes presents difficulties that must be overcome. The profession of fireman, whether in an operational or managerial situation, requires reflection on the very notion of uncertainty in order to accept its integration into a complex decision-making process.