Nervous System

Nerves, Brain, and Spinal Cord

Functions of the Nervous System

  1. Communication between body systems

  2. Integration of body functions

  3. Control of body functions
  4. Recognition of sensory stimuli

Three Parts of the Nervous System

  • Central Nervous System (CNS)- brain and spinal cord

  • Peripheral Nervous System (PNS)- all the nerves

  • Autonomic Nervous System(ANS)- structures that regulate the bodies automatic or voluntary actions
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Neurons- Nerve Cells

  1. Sensory Neurons- transmit impulses to the brain and spinal cord from all parts of the body
  2. Motor Neurons- transmit impulses from the central nervous system to the muscles+ glands
  3. Interneurons- conduct impulses from sensory neurons to motor neurons

Functions of the neurons

  • Allow us to preform multiple voluntary actions at one time

ex.chew our food, walk, and preform coordinated ,muscle contractions

  • Allow us to recognize certain stimuli ex. heat, light, and temperature
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Brain- Makeup of Brainstem

  1. Medulla Oblongata- Two-way pathway between the spinal cord and higher section of brain. Controls: cardiac, respiratory, and vasomotor (blood vessels) control centers
  2. Pons- Two-way pathway between the and brain and other regions of the body, influences respiration.
  3. Midbrain- Two-way pathway, relay visual and auditory (hearing) impulses
  4. Cerebellum- Controls muscle and posture
  • Impulses from these centers are important for regulating blood pressure

Spinal Cord

  • Primary reflex center of the body
  • Withdrawal reflex- pulling your hand away from a hot surface
  • Jerk Reflex- having your knee jerk when it gets tapped
  • Carries impulses to and from the brain, making all body functions possible
  • Since nervous tissue is not sturdy, the spinal cord is surrounded by fluid-containing membrane for protection

Conditions within the Nervous System

Multiple Screrosis (MS)

How is it caused?
  • The bodies immune system attacks it's own tissue, which causes progressive damage
  • May be a genetic disorder or from external factors such as a childhood illness.

What are some symptoms?

  • Blurry vision, slurred speech, coordination and balance problems
  • Numbness or tingling in any part of the body
  • Weakness in body and feeling of heaviness in arms and legs

How is someone treated with MS?

  • Their are numerous different medications that can help someone with the symptoms
  • However their is no cure for MS, it's about being able to cope with the MS attacks

Alzheimer's Disease

How is it caused?

  • Build up of abnormal protein in the brain, which causes the brain to shrink
  • Progressive loss of mental abilities, known as dementia

What are some symptoms?

  • Poor concentration, unusual forgetfulness
  • Difficulty understanding written and spoken language
  • Wandering and getting lost even in familiar locations
  • Rapid mood swings, personality changes, and aggression
  • Slow movements and unsteady walking

How is someone treated with Alzheimer's?

  • Their is no cure but some drugs can help slow loss of mental abilities
  • Separate symptoms such as depression can be relieved with medications

Spinal Injuries

How is it caused?
  • Most commonly caused by traffic actions, or certain sports
  • Area damaged are the muscles of back and neck, bones of the spine, and ligaments that hold the bones together

What are some symptoms?

  • Headache, neck pain and stiffing
  • Loss of sensation, difficulty breathing , and weakness
  • Inability to move affected parts
  • Problems with control of the bladder and bowel

How is someone treated with spinal injuries?

  • If their is ligament and muscle damage but the vertebrae is not damaged, bed rest and regular monitoring will only be needed
  • Physical therapy can help strengthen damaged area
  • If vertebrate becomes damaged, surgery will be needed. However people who have irreversible damage may become paralyzed and long term physical therapy will be needed to maintain muscle strength

Current Event- Jermicheal Finley's injury

Jermicheal Finely was a Green Bay Packers tight end football player. On October 20, 2013 Finely was hit head on by a Cleveland Brown player. The result was Finely laying motionless on the turf. After days in the ICU and numerous diagnostics test he was diagnosed with a contusion, bruise, on his spinal cord. He needed surgery to fuse his spinal cord back together, and the surgery was successful. This injury ended Finely's career of playing NFL football, but with rehab he was able get his body back to the new "normal".

Sited Sources

Goldmann, David R.. American College of Physicians complete home medical guide. New York: DK Pub., 1999. Print.

"Jermichael Finley Is Fighting Back | The MMQB with Peter King." The MMQB with Peter King Jermichael Finley Is Fighting Back Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014. <>.

"Nerve Cells." Eduction Portal. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014. <>.

"Neurons." Neurons. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014. <>.

Thibodeau, Gary A., and Kevin T. Patton. Structure & function of the body. 12th ed. St. Louis, Mo.: Mosby, 2004. Print.

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