Nervous System: An Overview

The nervous system is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs that coordinate and control the body’s functions. It is composed of the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS includes the brain and spinal cord, while the PNS consists of the sensory and motor nerve fibers that connect the CNS to the rest of the body. Together, these two systems are responsible for regulating and integrating the body’s activities, from thought and movement to digestion and respiration (Buttner & Stüttgen, 2017).

The nervous system is composed of neurons, or nerve cells, which are the basic building blocks of the nervous system. These cells are responsible for transmitting information throughout the body. Neurons have specialized structures which enable them to receive and transmit electrical signals, which in turn control bodily functions (Gould, 2019). Neurons communicate with each other through chemical signals called neurotransmitters, which are released from one neuron and received by another.

The nervous system can be divided into the somatic and autonomic systems (Gould, 2019). The somatic system is responsible for voluntary movement and sensation, while the autonomic system regulates involuntary functions. The autonomic system is further divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, which work together to control heart rate, blood pressure, and digestion.

The nervous system is essential to life, and any damage to it can have serious consequences. Damage to the nervous system can manifest in physical symptoms, such as weakness or paralysis, as well as cognitive and emotional symptoms, such as confusion and depression (Gould, 2019). Diseases of the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life.

In conclusion, the nervous system is a complex and vital system that coordinates and controls the body’s activities. Damage to the nervous system can have serious consequences, and diseases of the nervous system can significantly impair a person’s quality of life.

Buttner, P., & Stüttgen, G. (2017). The Nervous System: An Overview. In K.N. Prabhu, J.K. Khandelwal, & S.K. Khandelwal (Eds.), Textbook of Human Neuroanatomy (2nd ed., pp. 1-50). New Delhi, India: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers.

Gould, E. (2019). Nervous System. In M.J. Aminoff, F. Boller, & D. Swaab (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience (3rd ed., pp. 103-110). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.

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