Glial Cells!
Glial cells have been known as the helper cells in the brain. Indeed, they do an amazing array of housekeeping chores. We have ten times more of these helper cells than neurons. Therefore, recently glial cells are gaining more attention in research — if we have so many, perhaps they are much more than just helper cells. Some glial cells (macrophage), remove dead cells from the brain, such as after an accident involving the brain. Oligodendrocytes, do the insulation work (myelination) for oft used neurons. Astrocytes manage the chemical pools surrounding neurons. They clean away toxic chemicals and help maintain the so-called “blood-brain barrier”. Without these glial cells, learning and advanced cognition would be a much more difficult process for humans. Yet, there seems to be much more on the horizon for glial cell research; it is an excited field that is just beginning to bloom and show amazing potential. We may one day find out that our glial cells are much more than simple helper cells in the brain.
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