Health and FitnessWhat Does Your Nervous System Do?

What Does Your Nervous System Do?

Many of us know what’s on the outside of our body–the head, shoulders, arms, hands, legs, feet, etc. Much of what’s inside might be more of a mystery to us. For instance, some of us might be unaware that the joints in the fingers are called carpals, metacarpals, and phalanges. Nor might we be aware that there’s a u-shaped bone in the middle of the neck called the hyoid. Whether or not we’re aware of them, every part of our body forms its various systems. 

The human body is an impressive collection of systems. There’s the skeletal system, which provides structure and support. The respiratory system enables respiration. The digestive system breaks down food. The reproductive system, urinary system, endocrine system, etc. Then there’s the nervous system, a vast and complex network of neurons in charge of many body functions and processes.

The nervous system is responsible for breathing, thoughts and feelings, memory, movement and balance, and much more. Nerve Control 911 is a natural health supplement that can boost the nervous system. 

What Is the Nervous System?

The nervous system is a network of billions of neurons that carry signals from the brain to other body parts. Neurons are nerve cells consisting of a cell body containing the nucleus, dendrites–protrusions on the cell body–and myelinated axons. Myelin is a protective coating that insulates axons and improves their function. At the end of the neuron is the synapse, which connects neurons to other neurons, and carries electrical signals and chemical signals (neurotransmitters) to and from neurons.

There are two types of neurons, which are efferent and afferent sensory neurons. Efferent neurons are responsible for motor function. They relay information from the central nervous system to the organs around the body. Afferent neurons are in charge of sensation. They carry sensory information to the central nervous system from the sense receptors. 

The nervous system is the hub of the human body system. The majority of what our body does is possible due to the nervous system. It sends orders in the form of signals to other body parts. 

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There are two parts of the nervous system, which are:

  • The central nervous system (CNS): This consists of the brain and spinal cord. It is central because it coordinates body functions and processes. 
  • The peripheral nervous system (PNS): the nerves that carry signals to and from the CNS make up the peripheral nervous system. These nerves are connected to the CNS and branch out into every part of the human body.

These parts are explained in more detail below.

The Central Nervous System

  • The brain: The cerebrum is the largest part of the brain and consists of gray and white matter. Gray matter, known as the cerebral cortex, covers the outer part of the cerebrum. It is largely made up of neuron somas. White matter is the inner part of the cerebrum, mainly consisting of myelin-covered axons.

The cerebrum is divided into four lobes: frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital. The frontal lobe is located at the anterior of the cerebrum. It is responsible for speech production, memory, emotions, planning, and decision-making. The temporal lobes are located at the sides of the brain and are responsible for memory retention and sight perception. The parietal lobe, responsible for touch perception and one’s sense of direction, is located at the upper back of the head. The occipital lobe is located at the lower back of the head and is responsible for vision.

The cerebellum controls motor function and balance. It also plays a role in emotions, social behavior, and thought

The brainstem links the brain to the spinal cord. The brainstem regulates hearing, emotions, movement, balance, facial movements, tear production, and so on.

  • The spinal cord: the spinal cord extends from the brain to the lower back. There are 31 nerves in the spine: 12 thoracic, five cervical, five sacral, five lumbar, and one coccygeal nerve. These nerves extend into the face, chest, hands, pelvis, and feet. They are responsible for reflexes, movement, and sensory perception.

Like the brain, the spinal cord consists of gray and white matter; however, their roles are reversed. Gray matter is the inner part of the spinal cord, and the white matter surrounds it.

The spinal cord receives signals from the brain to coordinate movement and relays information to the brain, such as pain and temperature. It also controls certain involuntary actions, such as an involuntary knee jerk.

The Peripheral Nervous System

The peripheral nervous system comprises nerves that branch throughout the body. These nerves relay signals to and from the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system controls voluntary movement, involuntary movement, and perception. It has two subsystems: somatic and autonomic.

  • The somatic nervous system: This is responsible for sensation and motor function. It relays sensory information to the brain and communicates instructions from the brain to the skeletal muscles.
  • The autonomic nervous system: Controls unconscious movement. It handles processes over which we have no control, such as blood pressure, heartbeat, arousal, and digestion.

Two parts comprise the autonomic nervous system: the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The former stimulates the body’s response to stressful situations, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, dilated pupils, and the release of adrenaline. The latter causes the body to relax, leading to a reduced heart rate. It also stimulates digestion.  

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How to Keep Your Nervous System Healthy

The nervous system is the command center of the body. As such, it’s responsible for many of the body’s processes. These processes include movement, memory, digestion, heartbeat, sensation, breathing, emotions, puberty, sleep, spatial perception,  coordination, and more.

Disruptions to your nervous system’s processes can seriously affect your well-being. Conditions that can affect the nervous system include:

  • Vascular disorders that affect the blood vessels.
  • Neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  • Neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. 

There are things you can do to minimize your risk of developing disorders that can affect your nervous system. These include eating healthy, resting when needed, visiting the doctor regularly, and managing conditions that can lead to nerve damage, like diabetes.

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