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Nervous System Main Function

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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The nervous system is a complex collection of nerves and specialized cells know as neurons that transmit signals between different parts of the body. It is essentially the body's electrical wiring. Structurally, nervous system has two components: central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. According to the National Institutes of Health, central nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. The peripheral nervous system consists of sensory neurons, ganglia and nerves that connect to one another and to the central nervous system. Functionally, nervous system has two main subdivisions: somatic, or voluntary, component; and autonomic, or involuntary, component. The Autonomic nervous systems regulate certain body process, such as blood pressure and rate of breathing, that work without conscious effort, according to Merck Manuals. The somatic system consists of nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord with muscles and sensory receptors in the skin.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Organization of the Nervous System

Key facts about the nervous system

DefinitionA network of neurons that sends, receives and modulates neural impulses between different body parts.
DivisionsCentral nervous system Peripheral nervous system
Central nervous systemBrain and spinal cord
Peripheral nervous systemSpinal and cranial nerves. Functional divisions: - Somatic nervous system - Autonomic nervous system; sympathetic, parasympathetic and enteric divisions

The nervous system is a network of neurons whose main feature is to generate, modulate and transmit information between all different parts of the human body. This property enables many important functions of the nervous system, such as regulation of vital body functions, sensation and body movements. Ultimately, nervous system structures preside over everything that makes us human; our consciousness, cognition, behaviour and memories. The central nervous system is the integration and command center of the body. The peripheral nervous system represents conduit between CNS and body. It is further subdivided into somatic nervous system and autonomic nervous system. Understanding the nervous system requires knowledge of its various parts, so in this article you will learn about nervous system breakdown and all its various divisions.


Divisions of the Nervous System

The Nervous System is involved in receiving information about the environment around us and generating responses to that information. The Nervous System can be divided into regions that are responsible for sensation and for response. But there is a third function that needs to be include. Sensory input needs to be integrated with other sensations, as well as with memories, emotional state, or learning. Some regions of Nervous System are term integration or association areas. The process of integration combines sensory perceptions and higher cognitive functions such as memories, learning, and emotion to produce a response. Sensation. The first major function of the Nervous System is sensationreceiving, information about the environment to gain input about what is happening outside the body. Sensory functions of the Nervous System register the presence of change from homeostasis or particular event in the environment, know as stimulus. Sense we think of most are the big five: taste, smell, touch, sight, and hearing. Stimuli for taste and smell are both chemical substances, touch is physical or mechanical stimuli that interact with skin, sight is light stimuli, and hearing is perception of sound, which is a physical stimulus similar to some aspects of touch. There are actually more senses than just those, but that list represents major senses. Those five are all senses that receive stimuli from the outside world, and of which there is conscious perception. Additional sensory stimuli might be from the internal environment, such as stretching of the organ wall or concentration of certain ions in blood. Response. The Nervous System produces response on the basis of stimuli perceived by sensory structures. An obvious response would be movement of muscles, such as withdrawing hand from hot stove, but there are broader uses of the term. The nervous system can cause contraction of all three types of muscle tissue. For example, skeletal muscle contracts to move the skeleton, cardiac muscle is influenced as heart rate increases during exercise, and smooth muscle contracts as the digestive system moves food along the digestive tract. Responses also include neural control of glands in the body as well, such as production and secretion of sweat by eccrine and merocrine sweat glands found in skin to lower body temperature. Responses can be divided into those that are voluntary or conscious and those that are involuntary. Voluntary responses are governed by the somatic Nervous System and involuntary responses are governed by the autonomic Nervous System, which are discussed in the next section. Integration. Stimuli that are received by sensory structures communicate to the nervous system where that information is process. This is called integration. Stimuli are compared with, or integrate with, other stimuli, memories of previous stimuli, or the state of a person at a particular time. This leads to specific responses that will be generate.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Diagnosing nervous system conditions

A number of different medical conditions can affect the nervous system, including: blood vessel disorders in the brain, including arteriovenous malformations and cerebral aneurysms Tumors, benign and malignant degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Disorders of pituitary gland Epilepsy Headaches, including migraines head injuries such as concussions and brain trauma Movement Disorders, such as tremors and Parkinson disease Demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis Neuro - ophthalmologic diseases, which are vision problems that result from damage to optic Nerve or its connections to brain Peripheral Nerve diseases, which affect nerves that carry information to and from brain and Spinal cord Mental Disorders, such as schizophrenia Spine Disorders Infections, such as meningitis Stroke neurologists and other neuroscience specialists use special tests and imaging techniques to see how nerves and brain are working. In addition to blood and urine tests, tests to diagnose nervous system diseases may include: compute tomography lumbar puncture to check for infection of spinal cord and brain, or to measure pressure of cerebro - Spinal fluid magnetic resonance imaging or magnetic resonance angiography electroencephalography to look at brain activity Electromyography to test Nerve and muscle function Electronystagmography to check for abnormal eye movements, which can be sign of brain disorder evoke potentials, which look at how brain respond to sounds, sight, and touch Magnetoencephalography myelogram of Spine to diagnose Nerve injury Nerve conduction velocity test Neurocognitive testing polysomnogram to see how brain react during sleep Single photon emission compute tomography and positron emission tomography scan to look at brain metabolic activity Biopsy of brain, Nerve, skin, or muscle to determine if there's problem with nervous system neuroradiology is branch of neuroscience medicine that focus on diagnosing and treating nervous system problems. Interventional neuroradiology involves inserting tiny, flexible tubes called catheters into blood vessels leading to the brain. This allows doctors to treat blood vessel disorders that can affect the nervous system, such as stroke. Balloon angioplasty and stenting of carotid or vertebral artery Endovascular embolization and coiling to treat cerebral aneurysms Intra - arterial therapy for Stroke Radiation oncology of brain and Spine Needle biopsies, Spine and soft tissues Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty to treat vertebral fractures open or traditional neurosurgery may be needed in some cases to treat problems in brain and surrounding structures. This is more invasive surgery that requires surgeon to make an opening, called craniotomy, in the skull. Microsurgery allows surgeons to work on very small structures in the brain using microscope and very small, precise instruments. Stereotactic radiosurgery may be needed for certain types of nervous system disorders. This is a form of radiation therapy that focuses high - power X - rays on small areas of the body, thereby avoiding damage to surrounding brain tissue.


Overview of Nervous System Disorders

The Nervous system is a complex, highly specialized network. It organize, explains, and directs interactions between you and the world around you. The nervous system controls: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and feeling. Voluntary and involuntary functions, such as movement, balance, and coordination. Nervous systems also regulate actions of most other body systems, such as blood flow and blood pressure. Ability to think and reason. The nervous system allows you to be conscious and have thoughts, memories, and language. The nervous system is divided into brain and spinal cord and nerve cells that control voluntary and involuntary movements. Symptoms of nervous system problem depend on which area of the nervous system is involved and what is causing the problem. Nervous system problems may occur slowly and cause gradual loss of function. Or they may occur suddenly and cause life - threatening problems. Symptoms may be mild or severe. Some serious conditions, diseases, and injuries that can cause nervous system problems include: blood supply problems. Injuries, especially injuries to the head and spinal cord. Problems that are present at birth. Mental health problems, such as anxiety disorders, depression, or psychosis. Exposure to toxins, such as carbon monoxide, arsenic, or lead. Problems that cause gradual loss of function. Examples include: Parkinson's disease. Multiple sclerosis. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Alzheimer's disease. Huntington's disease. Peripheral neuropathies. Infections. These may occur in: brain. The Membrane surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Overuse of or withdrawal from prescription and non - prescription medicines, illegal drugs, or alcohol. Brain tumour. Organ system failure. Examples include: Respiratory failure. Heart failure. Liver failure. Kidney failure. Other conditions. Some examples include: Thyroid dysfunction. High blood sugar or low blood sugar. Electrolyte problems. Nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin B1 or vitamin B12 deficiency. Guillain - Barre syndrome. Sudden nervous system problems can cause many different symptoms, depending on the area of nervous system involve. Strokes and transient ischemic attacks are common examples of acute problems. You may experience sudden onset of one or more symptoms, such as: numbness, tingling, weakness, or inability to move part or all of one side of your body. Dimness, blurring, double vision, or loss of vision in one or both eyes. Loss of speech, trouble talking, or trouble understanding speech. Sudden, severe headache. Dizziness, unsteadiness, or inability to stand or walk, especially if other symptoms are present. Confusion or change in level of consciousness or behaviour. Severe nausea or vomiting. Seizures can also cause sudden changes in consciousness, feeling,s emotion,s or thought.S Abnormal body movements, such as muscle twitching, may or may not be present. How often seizures occur and how severe they are depends on the cause of seizures and the area of the brain involve. For more information, see topic Seizures. Diabetes can cause problems with balance, either as a result of peripheral neuropathy or stroke. Vertigo and Dizziness are problems of balance and coordination.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Diseases of the nervous system

Of all diseases of the nervous system, most common difficulty that people have is pain, and much of that is nerve - relate, according to Dr. Shai Gozani, founder and CEO of NeuroMetrix, medical device company. There are 100 million people who live with chronic pain. According to Mayo Clinic, patients with nerve disorders experience functional difficulties, which result in conditions such as: epilepsy, in which abnormal electrical discharges from brain cells cause seizures, Parkinson's disease, which is a progressive nerve disease that affects movement, Multiple sclerosis, in which protective lining of nerves is attacked by the body's immune system Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also know as Lou Gehrig's disease, is motor neuron disease which weaken muscles and progressively hampers Physical function Huntington's disease, which is inherit condition that cause nerve cells in Brain to degenerate Alzheimer's disease, which cover wide range of disorders that impact mental functions, particularly Memory. Mayo Clinic also notes that the nervous system can also be affected by vascular disorders such as: stroke, which occurs when there is bleeding in the brain or blow flow to the brain is obstruct; Transient ischemic attack, which are mini - type strokes that last a shorter period of time but mimic stroke symptoms; and Subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is specifically bleeding in space between your Brain and surrounding membrane that can be result of trauma or rupturing of weak Blood vessel; Infections such as meningitis, encephalitis, polio, and epidural abscess can also affect nervous system, NIH note. Treatments vary from anti - inflammatory medications and pain medications such as opiates, to implanted nerve stimulators and wearable devices, Gozani say. Many people also turn to herbal and holistic methods to reduce pain, such as acupuncture.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Study of the nervous system

Studying the nervous system involves anatomical and physiological techniques that have improved over years in efficiency and caliber. Clearly, gross morphology of the nervous system requires an eye - level view of the brain and spinal cord. However, to resolve minute components, optical and electron microscopic techniques are needed Light microscopes and, later, electron microscopes have changed our understanding of intricate connections that exist among nerve cells. For example, modern staining procedures make it possible to see selected neurons that are of one type or another or are affected by growth. With better resolution of electron microscopes, fine structures like synaptic cleft between pre - and post - synaptic neurons can be studied in detail. Along with neuroanatomical techniques, number of other methodologies aid neuroscientists in studying function and physiology of the nervous system. Early on, lesion studies in animals provide information about the function of the nervous system, by ablating parts of the nervous system or using neurotoxins to destroy them and documenting effects on behavior or mental processes. Later, more sophisticated microelectrode techniques were introduce, which led to recording of single neurons in animal brains and investigating their physiological functions. Such studies lead to formulating theories about how sensory and motor information are processed in the brain. To study many neurons, electroencephalographic techniques were introduce. These methods are used to study how large ensembles of neurons, representing different parts of the nervous system, with or without stimulation, function together. In addition, many scanning techniques that visualize the brain in conjunction with methods mentioned above are used to understand details of the structure and function of the brain. These include computerized axial Tomography, which uses X - rays to capture many pictures of the brain and sandwiches them into 3 - D models to study it. The resolution of this method is inferior to magnetic resonance imaging, which is yet another way to capture brain images using large magnets that bobble hydrogen nuclei in the brain. Although the resolution of MRI scans is much better than CAT scans, they do not provide any functional information about the brain. Positron Emission Tomography involves acquisition of physiologic images of the brain based on detection of positrons. Radio - labeled isotopes of certain chemicals, such as analogs of glucose, enter Active nerve cells and emit positrons, which are captured and mapped into scans. Such scans show how the brain and its many modules become active when energized with entering glucose analog. Disadvantages of PET scans include being invasive and rendering poor spatial resolution. The latter is why modern PET machines are coupled with CAT scanners to gain better resolution of functioning brain. Finally, to avoid the invasiveness of PET, functional MRI techniques were develop. Brain images based on fMRI technique visualize brain function by changes in flow of fluids in brain areas that occur over time.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Nervous System Parts

The peripheral nervous system is made up of thick bundles of axons, called nerves, carrying messages back and forth between CNS and muscles, organs, and senses in the periphery of the body. Pns has two major subdivisions: somatic nervous system and autonomic nervous system. Somatic nervous system is associated with activities traditionally thought of as conscious or voluntary. It is involved in the relay of sensory and motor information to and from CNS; therefore, it consists of motor neurons and sensory neurons. Motor neurons, carrying instructions from CNS to muscles, are different fibers. Sensory neurons, carrying sensory information to CNS, are different fibers. Each nerve is basically a two - way superhighway, containing thousands of axons, both efferent and afferent. The autonomic nervous system controls our internal organs and glands and is generally considered to be outside the realm of voluntary control. It can be further subdivided into sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions. The sympathetic nervous system is involved in preparing the body for stress - related activities; parasympathetic nervous system is associated with returning the body to routine, day - to - day operations. Two systems have complementary functions, operating in tandem to maintain body homeostasis. Homeostasis is a state of equilibrium, in which biological conditions are maintained at optimal levels.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Nervous System Structure

The nervous system is an enormously complex system for coordinating animals ' behavior and helping them navigate and react to the outside environment. In least complex organisms, nervous system can consist of only a few neurons and no central brain. At the other end of the spectrum, human brain is capable of complex thought, symbology, and language. Generally, nervous system is structured so that inputs from the environment are sent to the brain from the peripheral nervous system. Here, they are quickly processed and connect to nerves. Then, brain sends signals to various other parts of the body. These can be somatic signals, which enact voluntary movements. Nerves which transport somatic signals are part of the somatic nervous system. Alternatively, they can be autonomous signals, which act on glands, smooth muscle, and other parts which are generally part of the subconscious. These nerves are part of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is further divided into sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Together, coordinated responses to almost any situation can be complete. Organisms without brain typically coordinate actions in similar manner, though their nerves are more evenly distributed throughout their bodies.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

How does voluntary movement happen?

Over one million axons travel through the spinal cord, including the longest axons in the Central Nervous System. Neurons in the motor cortex, region of the brain that controls voluntary movement, send their axons through the corticospinal tract to connect with motor neurons in the spinal cord. Spinal motor neurons project out of the cord to correct muscles via ventral root. These connections control conscious movements, such as writing and running. Information also flows in opposite direction, resulting in involuntary movement. Sensory neurons provide feedback to the brain via dorsal root. Some of this sensory information is conveyed directly to lower motor neurons before it reaches the brain, resulting in involuntary, or reflex movements. Remaining sensory information travels back to the cortex.


Introduction

The nervous system controls bodily function by gathering sensory input, integrating that information internally, and communicating proper motor output. The nervous system allows organisms to sense, organize, and react to information in the environment. The basic unit of the nervous system is the neuron. Synapses form between neurons, allowing them to communicate with other neurons or other systems in the body. The general flow of information is a peripheral nervous system that takes in information through sensory neurons, then sends it to the central nervous system to be process. After processing, CNS tells PNS what to dowhat muscles to flex, whether lungs need more oxygen, which limbs need more blood, any number of biological processesand PNS makes it happen through muscle control. Neurons responsible for taking information to CNS are known as afferent neurons, while neurons that carry responses from CNS to PNS are known as efferent neurons.


The Central Nervous System (CNS)

The Nervous system has many divisions, Each division has its own distinct purpose. The Diagrams that follow represent the nervous system and its various divisions, followed by an explanation of each division. Structures of CNS are the brain and spinal cord. Their job is to integrate information coming back from peripheral nervous system and to respond automatically or make decisions on actions that should be take. You can think of the CNS as the head office of the body, it works consciously and subconsciously to control all activities within the body. Structures of PNS include cranial nerves and spinal nerves. Their job is to communicate information between the CNS and the rest of the body. The Sensory division of the nervous system contains nerves that come from viscera and somatic areas. These nerves conduct impulses to PNS / CNS providing information on what is happening within and outside the body. Senses include; hearing, sight, touch, and proprioception. The motor division of the nervous system contains motor nerves. These nerves conduct impulses from CNS and PNS to muscles, organs and glands, effecting what happens in those tissues. Somatic division of the nervous system contains nerves which end in skeletal muscles. These nerves conduct impulses which control skeletal muscles in response to directives that come from the brain. This conscious control means we call activities of this division voluntary. The Autonomic division of the nervous system contains nerves which end in viscera. They are therefore called visceral motor nerves. These nerves conduct impulses which control the heart, lungs, smooth muscle in blood vessels, digestive tract and glands. These nerves are active without conscious input from the brain, so they are said to be involuntary. Sympathetic division of the nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system. It works automatically to mobilise body systems during activity. If you have ever had fright and afterward realise your heart is still beating rapidly, youre tense and your palms are sweating, then you have experienced activity of the sympathetic portion of the autonomic nervous system. Parasympathetic division of the nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system as well. It works automatically to inhibit or relax body systems. It promotes digestion and other housekeeping functions when the body is at rest. The following diagram highlights how sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions have different effects on various organs.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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