Sierra College Department of Biological Sciences

Discover the Biological Sciences

The introductory information for this site has been contributed as a joint assignment by students in Bio. Sci. 10.

Anatomy - Nervous System

By: Megan Sanders

The Nervous System

The nervous system is a set of complex pathways made up of tissue. The tissues themselves consist mainly of neurons which are complexly interconnected together in order to send messages throughout the body. The nervous system breaks down into two separate systems: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The central nervous system controls the brain and the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system takes care of all the nerves that work within the rest of the body. The nervous system also consists of glial cells in addition to the previously mention neurons. Though the glial cells do not have the same type of function as neurons do; they are still very important to the system itself. The glial cells help to give nutrients to the nervous system. In addition to bringing in nutrients the glial cells also offer support and protection to the neurons.

The nervous system is a very important part of the body. The nerves that are connected to the nervous system travel throughout the body. (See bottom image) Starting in the brain they work their way down as receptors and monitors of the bodies’ condition. It is really a complex network at work. The neurons are stimulated by many things. Some of these are heat, cold, and touch. Terrible things could happen if something went wrong with this delicate system. Though the spinal cord is encased in bone it is still susceptible to injury. This is why so much effort is put into finding ways to help people who have spinal cord injuries and are now paralyzed because of it. Not having any movement makes life rather difficult, though those who have spinal cord injuries learn to adapt.

The Central Nervous system is the part of the nervous system that the spinal cord is located along with the brain. The brain is housed and protected by the skull while the spinal cord is housed and protected within the vertebra.

Scientists are now doing studies that have found an influence on the immune system by the nervous system. There are signals within the system that seem to be caused by the nerves and their receptors. Scientists believe that by tapping into these signals that they may be able to stop certain immune diseases at their roots. Diseases like asthma and arthritis. Also they hope to improve the immune system defenses. It is amazing what the body can do and how intricate everything is.

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