The human brain is huge. While the human brain isn’t the biggest brain in the world, it’s certainly one of them. Sperm whales have the largest brains on earth, but when you compare the size of the human brain to the size of our bodies, it truly is the largest vertebrate brain on the planet (a vertebrate is any animal that has a backbone). 

The human brain is a complicated organ that works like a control center where information flows to and from: Our organs send signals to our brains, and our brains send information to our muscles to tell our bodies what to do. 

Human brains have about 86 billion nerve cells, called “neurons,” or “gray matter,” and billions of nerve fibers, or “white matter,” all linked together by a seemingly infinite number of synapses, which are connections between nerve cells. 

The biggest section of our brain is the cerebrum, composed of right and left hemispheres. The outside layer of your cerebrum is the cerebral cortex, which is considered the part of the brain that makes us human: It’s where language and complex thought develop. 

While the human brain is very smart, it’s size and complexity make it vulnerable to a wide range of disorders.

World Brain Day 2020

World Brain Day, founded in 2014, is dedicated to spreading awareness around brain health.

This year, World Brain Day, which is on 22 June, is committed to spreading awareness around Parkinson’s Disease, a neurodegenerative disease that impacts over 7 million people across the planet. People with Parkinson’s disease suffer from uncontrollable body movements. The disease gets worse as the sufferer ages. There is no known cure for it, but medication can help ease symptoms.

In 2019, World Brain Day was dedicated to spreading awareness around migraines, a condition that causes severe headaches in some people that can be chronic. Migraines usually affect one side of the brain and can cause debilitating pain. Luckily, there is a medication that can help people who suffer from migraines. 

World Day 2016 focused on spreading awareness around Alzheimer’s Disease, a disorder that causes memory loss in aging people.

World Brain Day 2020 is a joint effort between the World Federation of Neurology and the International Parkinson and Movement Disorders Society. Learn about World Brain Day 2020.

Learn more about the brain’s anatomy and different disorders that can affect it.

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