The Brain
Brain Illustration Series

The brain is one of the most complex organs in our body and every week scientists are making more and more new discoveries about how and why it works the way it does. Did you know for example that until just 5 years ago we believed our brains stopped developing at the age of 25 and through brain imaging we now know that our brains never stop developing?

We created a collection of family friendly brain diagrams for our doctors to use in clinic to make the information they were passing on more digestible and we have been delighted with the feedback. Our survivors and families now use the diagrams to pass on relevant information to their families, friends, class mates and teachers in a more survivor-friendly, empathetic way.

Our current project is to incorporate these diagrams into an assembly and a collection of 4 short, interactive, and engaging tutor period sessions for survivors and teachers to use in the class after they return to school post treatment. A staggering number of children experienced alienation, rejection or exclusion when they went back to their class and we have been learning from those who didn’t experience that and found that the game changer was having the right support in place and being able to openly share what they had been through with their peers as the negative experiences were simply down to a lack of understanding. Here’s what our ambassadors had to say about talks to their fellow class mates:

“By doing an assembly to my class mates I literally went from victim to hero”

“ I was so scared doing my assembly but the first one went so well, I was asked to do another one and my class mates were blown away”

“Thank goodness for my teacher who helped me make my presentation positive and full of hope because the last thing I wanted was people’s pity. It created a wave of genuine interest in the power of the brain”

We hope to be able to share these invaluable resources on our site soon.

Evolution of the brain

Showing reptilian brain, mammalian brain and human brain.

The outer brain (cerebral cortex) 

This is the largest region of the mammalian brain and plays a key role in memory, attention, perception, cognition, awareness, thought, language, and consciousness. 

Cerebral cortex (from above)

Showing left and right dominance and how each side controls different aspects of behaviour. 

Inner brain 

Also known as the "diencephalon" - focusing on the hypothalamus and pituitary - two key glands in mammalian endocrine systems. 

Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Axis (HPA)

The HPA axis is a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions among three endocrine glands: the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland , and the adrenal glands.

The endocrine system

Showing glands that produce and secrete hormones and chemical substances produced in the body that regulate the activity of cells or organs. 

Brain tumour types

Pie chart showing prevalence of different types of brain tumours in children and adolescents.

Brain tumour locations

The position of the brain tumour (and thus the area of brain injury), as well as the type of treatment that is received, often dictates many of the longer term effects.

With thanks to our illustrator Simon Reeves