Chapter 1: Cities and Highways 1Chapter 2: Dust Settles on the Battlefield 5Chapter 3: I Sing the Body Electric 15Chapter 4: Meet the Astrocyte 29Chapter 5: Riding the Calcium Wave 41Chapter 6: Hey Neuron, It's Me, Glia 55Chapter 7: Developing Relationships 65Chapter 8: The Time Machine 77Chapter 9: Sing a New Song 89Chapter 10: Albert Einstein's Abundant Astrocytes 99Chapter 11: I Dream of Glia 111Chapter 12: Gliadegenerative Disease 121Chapter 13: Don't Insult Me 133Chapter 14: The Seething Breeding Glioma 145Chapter 15: Cities and Highways Revisited 155Acknowledgments 159About the Author 161Index 163
If you know anything about human brains, you know about neurons - the cells that have long been seen as central to virtually everything your brain thinks, feels, and does. But neurons represent only 10% of your brain cells: the other 90% are glial cells. Until recently, neuroscientists thought glial cells did little more than hold your brain together. But in the past few years, they've discovered that glial cells are extraordinarily important. In fact, they may hold the key to understanding intelligence, treating psychiatric disorders and brain injuries and perhaps even curing fatal conditions like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Lou Gehrig's Disease. In The Root of Thought, leading neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Koob reveals what we've learned about these remarkable cells, from their unexpected role in information storage to their function as adult stem cells that can keep your brain growing and adapting longer than scientists ever imagined possible. Ranging from fruit flies to Einstein, Koob reveals the surprising correlation between intelligence and the brain's percentage of glia cells - and why these cells' unique wavelike communications may be especially conducive to the fluid information processing human beings depend upon. You'll learn how crucial glia cells grow and develop... why almost all brain tumors are comprised of glia cells' and the potential implications for treatment... even the apparent role of glia cells in your every thought and dream!
Andrew Koob graduated from Northwestern University in 1998 and from Purdue University with a Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2005. After graduation, he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in pediatric neurosurgery at Dartmouth College, followed by positions as a postdoctoral fellow for research in Parkinson's Disease at the University of California, San Diego, and as a researcher in molecular neurogenetics at the University of Munich, Germany.