What is the function of the Nervous system?

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If we consider our body as a machine, then the cenrtal processing unit(CPU) or the main controller of this machine is our brain and the nervous system put together. They send out the commands and the actions to handle all the activities of our body and are responsible for various senses we feel. A person with damaged nervous system is mentally challenged and unstable. Without the aid of the brain one can neither taste, nor feel or even identify any object. Damage to any other organ can be cured but damage to brain leaves a person handicapped both mentally and physically.

 

What is the nervous system?

It can be expressed as the highly specialized network of complex and sophisticated system containing billions of neurons.  The nervous system is responsible for coordinating as well as controlling entire functions of the body. It has two components, the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. Along with these two component system, other principal organs which are a part of this system are ears, eyes, sensory organs of smell, sensory organs of taste and sensory receptors located in skin, muscles, joints and other body parts.

  • Central nervous system – It consists of brain and You do not have access to view this node
  • peripheral nervous system – consists of all other neural elements

 

What are the functions of the nervous system?

The peripheral nervous system is divided into three divisions depending upon their particular functions,

  • Somatic nervous system: This receives external stimuli and is known to coordinate body You do not have access to view this node
  • Autonomic nervous system: This system undertakes the responsibility of functions which cannot be controlled consciously. It is further classified into parasympathetic, sympathetic and the enteric class. The sympathetic nervous system is related to anxiety or stress and the parasympathetic nervous system performs its functions when the person is relaxing or sleeping.
  • Enteric nervous system: Manages all the aspects of digestion

 

How does the nervous system send signals?

The complex network of nervous system coordinates and controls the entire activities of the body by transmitting signals or messages from brain to various regions of our body and vice versa. Our nervous system takes assistance of neurons for conducting signals between two nervous system components i.e. peripheral nervous system and central nervous system. The neurons are of two types: sensory neurons and motor neurons. Along with neurons, glial cells which support and surround neurons also take part in the signal transmission process. The sensory nervous create and send the stimuli which are forwarded by the sensory organs like nose, skin, eye, to the Central nervous system. The brain performs the function of processing and sending these stimuli back again to the other body parts intimating them to respond to a specific type of stimulus. The motor takes signals from the spinal cord and the brain and send them to other body organs. Electrochemical signals or neurotransmitters are used by the neurons for transmitting the signals from one neuron to another. Different brain parts are in charge of various functions of body which is coordinated through the specialized neuron network. The coordination between central as well as peripheral nervous system is responsible for proper nervous system functioning.

 

What are the diseases related to nervous system?

The nervous system is a very sensitive network and hence is vulnerable to many diseases. It can get damaged due to infections, trauma, structural effects, tumors, degeneration, autoimmune disorders or blood flow disruption. Some of the common disorders of nervous system are:

  • Vascular disorders like transient ischemic attack (TIA), stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, hematoma, subdural hemorrhage and extradural hemorrhage
  • Infections like encephalitis, polio, meningitis and epidural abscess
  • Structural disorders like Bell's palsy, cervical spondylosis , brain or spinal cord injury, brain or spinal cord tumors, carpal tunnel syndrome, Guillain-Barré syndrome and peripheral neuropathy
  • Functional disorders like headache, epilepsy, neuralgia and dizziness
  • Degeneration like Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's chorea

     
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