Cerebral Circulation – Special Circulations

by Thad Wilson, PhD

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    Brain blood flow or the cerebral circulation has a few unique features. Probably the most unique is the blood brain barrier. So there is a barrier between normal blood flow that's traveling around in the systemic circulation and that that reaches the brain. The reason for this brain blood flow barrier is to prevent certain things from crossing over and affecting neurons in the brain. The barrier involves a couple different processes. One of which are tight junctions along the endothelial layer as well as these astrocyte projections. These foot-like projections will be able to decrease the amount of flow across but that brings up another important aspect here and that is you might need to transport a substance across the blood brain barrier because it doesn't have fenestrations and tight junctions prevent its movement. This is another picture to show those foot-like projections, how it almost encases a blood vessel and you can imagine that's very difficult to move things from the blood itself in through these different layers, into the brain interstitial fluid and eventually the cerebrospinal fluid. This is helpful to prevent certain toxins from making their way in and bacterial infections. Other items that are important with the brain is they will increase brain blood flow base upon what activity is going on. To relate those together, it usually has to do with the amount of metabolism. If you're doing something like talking or reading, you are using various portions of your brain and while you're using various portions of your brain, those spots will get more brain blood flow. So sometimes large social interactions will even give you a little bit more brain blood flow than very specific targeted types. Another very important aspect with cerebral circulation is how reactive it is to carbon dioxide....

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Cerebral Circulation – Special Circulations by Thad Wilson, PhD is from the course Vascular Physiology.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Increases brain blood flow
    2. Decreases brain blood flow
    3. Decreases cerebral autoregulation
    4. Increases cerebral autoregulation
    1. Large hydrophilic molecules
    2. Oxygen
    3. Carbon dioxide
    4. Hormones
    5. Lipid soluble molecules

    Author of lecture Cerebral Circulation – Special Circulations

     Thad Wilson, PhD

    Thad Wilson, PhD

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