What is the Nervous System?

The nervous system is the communication system in your body that relays things like sensations, motor movements, and more. The nervous system is responsible for the body’s decision making.

The nervous system is very complex and divided into two different regions: The central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system.

The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord.

The peripheral nervous system is divided up between the autonomic and somatic. The autonomic is further split into two more subgroups called the sympathetic and the parasympathetic.

Below is a chart that explains the functions and divisions of the nervous system.

Some Diseases/disorders of the Nervous system:
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Stroke
  • Infection (meningitis)

There are more than what is listed. One particularly interesting is Alzheimer’s Disease.

According to the National Institute of Aging, Alzheimer’s is a long-term brain disorder that slowly destroys functions in the brain that help carry out tasks. Some of the functions affected in the brain are memory and thinking skills. There are two types. The late-onset type has symptoms that appear in a person’s mid-60s. The early-onset type can occur as early as a person’s 30s and is very rare.

It seems that when you have cancer you are a brave battler against the disease, but when you have Alzheimer’s you are an old fart. That’s how people see you. It makes you feel quite alone.

Terry Pratchett, Author diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

What makes Alzheimer’s Disease so interesting is how little we know about the disease. The main concept that we do know is when patient is autopsied, or studied after death to find cause, they are found with protein plaques in their brain.

This causes spacing in the brain that were not seen in a normal healthy brain. Below is an image that illustrates the difference between a healthy brain and a brain with severe Alzheimer’s Disease.

There will be more of an in depth dive into topics like this in future blogs.

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