Monday, March 5, 2012

Latin Names

The textbook still holds my attention, the evening before the exam. I am currently reviewing the brain, and its various protective features.

Among several, there are two coverings of the brain called the dura mater and the pia mater.  I always try to understand the meaning of the Latin words, as often they are very descriptive of that the body part in question is (scientists are not generally known for their creativity!).

In this case, dura mater means "tough mother". In contrast, pia mater means "gentle mother".  I find these names beautiful, in that they so accurately describe their roles in protecting the brain -- without which, living ceases.

The "tough mother" is the outer, tough sheet of connective tissue that surrounds the brain.  Even though the skull has the principal protective feature, as well as the cerebrospinal fluid the brain is bathed in, the dura mater is yet another protective layer.  And it is tough, because moms have to be tough sometimes, to best protect their little ones.

Then there is the "gentle mother".  This is another sheet of connective tissue, but this time a delicate one. It clings tightly to the brain.  The pia mater is filled with blood vessels, and its primary role is to provide nourishment to the brain.  This is the gentle mother fulfilling the needs her little one needs to survive and thrive.

On the other hand, cerebral peduncles makes me laugh.  That literally means "little feet of the cerebrum", so naturally, I visualize a little cerebrum with feet sticking out of it, running around....

Hey, if it works, all the better to help learn this mountain of material!!!

Signing off,
"Future Nurse" aka "pia mater", and "dura mater", as necessary!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment