Some science behind the scenes

Lipids and the brain

The brain itself has a relatively high lipid content, but the actual content varies a lot between the different anatomic structures or organs.  In the chart below we can see the different lipid contents of each brain structure.

If we look at this chart, the hypothalamus, the corpus callosum and the reticular formation are the three organs along with the internal capsule that have the highest lipid content.

Regional circulation and lipid content of the brain

 

Per cent lipid*

Blood flow+

(ml / g/ min)

Hypothalmus

31.6

0,84

Corpus callosum

22.9

-

Reticular formation

22.8

0.59

Internal capsule

22.1

-

External geniculate body

17.6

1.21

Superior colliculus

17.2

1.15

Internal geniculate body

17.0

1.22

Internal colliculus

16.4

1.80

Thallamus

14.3

1.03

Cerebellum

13.2

0.57

Visual cortex

12.5

1.25

Parietal en temporal cortex

12.0

1.8

Auditory cortex

10.9

1.3

Hippocampus

10.8

0.61

Amygdala

10.6

0.75

Caudate nucleus

 9.0

1.10

Optic tract

-

0.27

Pyramid

-

0.26

Initially the circulation sends substances to ‘grey matter’, but then the high lipid content of organs with fibre bundles causes a shift to the organs shown at the top of the list above.

Lipid retaining organs attract lipids, so an excess of lipids may well cause the lipid content of the four organs shown to exceed what might be termed ‘normal’.

This may then act as a trigger and the functions of these organs are then invoked….