The Nervous System March 2017

Everyone’s body is made up of different systems with coordinating functions that make it so that we can grow, live and move in a normal, healthy manner. Some of these such systems include the respiratory system, the immune system, the skeletal system, the muscular system, the digestive system, the reproductive system, and the nervous system. For example, the respiratory system works to facilitate the intake of air so that the body can use oxygen to function and expel the unnecessary carbon dioxide. This system includes the mouth, nose, esophagus, lungs, and diaphragm. Another system, the muscular system, consists of parts of the body that facilitate movement, the maintenance of posture, and the circulation of blood throughout the body. This system includes the skeleton (bones), and muscles that are classified as smooth and cardiac.

The nervous system is the biological system that facilitates the activity of the body by sending and receiving signals to and from different parts of the body. This system includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. If you have ever been poked or pricked by a sharp object, when you feel pain, it is because of the proper functioning of your body’s nervous system. The pain that registers in your brain does so as a result of the signal transmitted from the part of your body that was damaged and possibly began to bleed. Also, if there is a part of your body that is numb or paralyzed, when it is hit, poked or damaged, there is no signal transmitted to your brain that lets you know that your body has been damaged. This is because the nerves in that area of the body are not functioning properly due to numbness or paralysis. In this situation, you would not feel any pain.

The brain and spinal cord are a part of the nervous system.

The nervous system facilitates the activity of the body whether it is voluntary or involuntary by sending signals from the brain and spinal cord to other parts of the body. When you hurt yourself and feel pain, that is when the system receives a signal and transmits it to the brain. However, in the morning when you turn off your alarm clock and want to get up out of bed, your brain sends signals through the nervous system to your arms, legs and other parts of your body that make it so that you can get up. These are voluntary actions. When you decide to move, to sit, to stand, to talk, to eat – these are actions that are initiated by you in your brain and are called voluntary. The brain and spinal cord also send signals to the body to facilitate activities that are classified as involuntary actions. These include breathing, your heart beat, and digestion. Your nervous system works to control the muscles that help you to breathe constantly, maintain a healthy heartbeat, and to process the foods you eat through your digestive tract.

The body’s nervous system can malfunction and cause problems with sending and receiving signals through the nerves in the body to and from the brain and the spinal cord. These malfunctions can occur as a result of genetic defects, physical damage due to trauma or toxicity, infection or due to age. Nerve cells are called neurons and they are the core components of the nervous system. Neurology is a medical specialty in which doctors study disorders of the nervous system and look for interventions that can prevent or treat the disorders. A neurological disorder is any disorder of the nervous system. Structural, biochemical or electrical abnormalities in the brain, spinal cord or other nerves can result in a range of symptoms. Examples of symptoms include paralysis, muscle weakness, poor coordination, loss of sensation, seizures, confusion, pain and altered levels of consciousness.

A nerve cell in the brain

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a type of neurological disorder of the human body. It is a long-term degenerative disorder that mainly affects the motor system. The symptoms generally come on slowly over time. Early in the disease, the most obvious are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking. Thinking and behavioral problems may also occur. Dementia becomes common in the advanced stages of the disease. The cause of Parkinson's disease is generally unknown, but believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors. Studies show that those with a family member affected are more likely to get the disease themselves.

(Source – Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia)

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