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Each of the cerebral hemispheres (the right and left sides of the brain) is further divided into four lobes:
Symptoms you may have if the frontal lobe is affected include:
This is located on the precentral gyrus of the brain. It is this area that enables you to execute voluntary movements. So, for example, when you decide to kick a ball, nerve impulses will fire from the part of the motor cortex that controls your leg and foot muscles. They will travel down the spinal cord and cause the appropriate muscles to contract. The motor cortex does not control involuntary movements such heart muscle, gut movements, or reflexes.
Broca’s area is in the outer, lower part of the frontal lobe of your dominant cerebral hemisphere (usually your left hemisphere). Along with Wernicke’s area, it is plays a central role in verbal communication. A tumour in this area may cause difficulty speaking.
Broca’s area is responsible for the production rather than the comprehension of language. If Broca’s area if affected, people can often read and understand what others are saying but they may find it difficult to express themselves fluently in speech. People often describe having trouble putting their sentences together or knowing what they want to say but not being able to find the words to say it. This is referred to as non-fluent or expressive aphasia. Aphasia is an acquired language impairment that can involve speech, reading, writing or listening.
Responsible for executive function, in other words, planning, organisation, and problem solving.
If this part of your brain is affected, you may find it difficult to think logically, plan complex tasks, or handle abstract concepts. Example might include the inability to estimate distances or interpret proverbs.
Important in decision-making, particularly when associated with emotions, reward or punishment. It plays a role in allowing you to act appropriately in social situations. A problem in this part of the brain can cause a change in mood or unusual behaviour. Loss of social inhibition is quite common. Examples include excessive swearing, sexual disinhibition, inability to empathise with people, and sometimes, and urinary incontinence.
This part of the brain plays a role in motivation and reward anticipation. Problems here can cause inattention, indifference or rarely akintetic mutism, which is a tendency not to want to move or speak.
This is the area in your brain that recognises smells. Loss of your sense of smell (anosmia) on one or both sides may result if this area is disrupted.
Frontal lobe tumours are often diagnosed late as changes can often be quite subtle or vague.
Disruption of the part of your brain that regulates touch can cause numbness or a loss of sensation. Where you feel numb will depend on where your tumour is: It may be only your foot or the whole of one half of your body. Most of the time the side of your body that will be affected is the opposite side to where your tumour is. You may be less able to feel pain.
Other effects of a tumour in your parietal lobe will depend on whether your tumour is in the dominant or non-dominant hemisphere.
If your brain tumour is in the temporal lobe, you may find you have trouble remembering things or understanding complicated things that are said to you.
Wernicke’s Area is an area of the temporal lobe responsible for the understanding of written and spoken language. When this area is affected, people often find it difficult to understand the meaning of sentences. They can often speak very fluently but what they say may not make sense and often will not be relevant at all to the conversation. This is called receptive or fluent aphasia. Aphasia is an acquired language impairment that can involve speech, reading, writing or listening.
Your primary auditory cortex allows you to be aware of sounds coming through your ears and to recognise what they are or understand what they mean. People with a tumour here will still be able to hear sounds if their ears are functioning, but they may not be able to recognise them.
Your occipetal lobe interprets visual stimuli, such as colour, light and movement.
A tumour here can cause loss of vision on one side. Your occipital lobe is also in charge of visual interpretation, so some people may experience visual hallucinations.
Your optic nerves take information from your eyes all the way to your occipital lobe in the back of your brain via a very long and windy path. Your vision can be affected if your tumour puts pressure anywhere along these nerves. For this reason, a change in vision does not necessarily point to your occipital lobe.
The nervous system is split into the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS).
The CNS includes your brain and your spinal cord. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that run up and down your spine, communicating high-speed messages between your brain and your lower body.
The PNS is comprised of all the nerves that travel between the CNS and every organ in your body including your eyes, mouth, heart, gut, fingers and toes.
Your peripheral nerve endings pick up sensory stimuli (such as touch, temperature, pain, and visual and auditory stimuli) and send impulses up sensory nerves to your CNS. Here, the information is interpreted and you become consciously aware of it when it reaches your cerebral cortex.
Your brain then responds by sending action instructions back to your peripheral nerves through motor neurons. This causes the appropriate parts of your body to react or move.
Your brain is split into many parts: the main parts are the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brainstem. Other key parts are the limbic system, pituitary gland, meninges and the cerebral spinal fluid.