The brain

conversion of electrical signals

Anatomically, the brain can be divided in three major parts, the cerebrum, the brain stem and the cerebellum. The cerebrum consists of the two cerebral hemispheres (cerebral cortex & white matter), basal ganglia and the diencephalon (thalamus & hypothalamus), each of which has higher order functions including memory, cognition, fine and gross motor control, relaying sensory information and controlling the autonomic nervous system. The brain stem contains the mesencephalon, pons and the medula oblangata controlling e.g. muscle activation as well as respiratory & cardiac processes.

The brain represents the majority of neural tissue and consists mainly of two cell types, the neurons and the glial cells. Each cell type has specific functions to maintain the the transmission of electrical signal needed for communication, the basic function of the brain tissue. While neurons are responsible for the transfer of the signal, glial cells support the structur as well as the function of the neurons.

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The eye

uptake of optical stimuli

The eyes are sensory organs, their function is the uptake of light and the following conversion of the signal into nerve impulses. This signal can then be transmitted to the brain where it is converted into an image. The inner part of the eyeball consists of three coating layers (outer, inner & middle coat) whereas the inner part of the eyeball contains the lens and the vitreous body. The inner coat contains the light sensitive nervous tissue (photoreceptor cells) and nerve cells which are responsible for the reception and transmission of the signal. 

Brain disorders

Beside neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer´s disease, Parkinson´s disease and ALS, also a number of different brain tumors can develop and interfere with proper function of the brain.

Neurodegenerative disorders lead to a disintegration of brain tissue and nerves over time of which some disease develop with age and others are genetic predispositions. For most of the neurodegenerative disease there is no cure , however treatment controlling the symptomes can strongly increase quality of life for patients.

There are two fundamentally different types of brain tumors described. The primary brain tumors are tumors that develop in the brain itself and can have a rather poor prognosis. Secondary brain tumors are metastatic tumors that originated in a different area of the body and spead into the brain tissue.  Sevral markers have been described to be relevant brain tumor markers for exmaple p53, synaptophysin and Sox2.

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