The central nervous system (CNS) (also called the central nervous system) is primarily responsible for sending impulses and messages. From the environment, stimuli are received and transmitted to the brain. The nerves give impetus so that the body, its muscles and organs can do their work.

What is the central nervous system?

The nervous system is defined as a whole of the nervous tissue. Purely anatomically and topographically, the nervous system can be divided into two parts. The peripheral nervous system (PNS) refers to all nerve cells and nerve tracts that do not belong to the central nervous system (CNS).

The CNS consists of important nervous structures in the brain and spinal cord. The CNS is protected in the brain by the skull bones, the spinal cord from the spine. The functions of the peripheral and central nervous systems are closely interlinked.

Anatomy & Construction

The central nervous system has to control important functions of the body and is therefore particularly protected. Brain and spinal cord are secured by three skins each.

These skins enclose a fluid, the nerve water. The extra padding protects the nerve tissue of the CNS from possible damage. The tissue of the CNS has no uniform structure. The tissue is roughly divided into two different types, the white and the gray matter. The gray mass of the brain is on the outside, in the spinal cord, however, in the inner areas.

It consists predominantly of the cell bodies. In the white matter lie the processes of the nerve cells. These are the nerve tracts, so to speak, the leads that connect the nerve cells to each other.

Functions & Tasks

The CNS is vital to humans. Here is the central processing of the stimuli that come from the environment. All sensations, perceptions and signals are coordinated, integrated and also answered in this area.

Here is the center, which allows the human being a purposeful and conscious reaction to stimuli or requirements from the environment. Also, in this region of the human nervous system, the voluntarily executed motor skills have their seat. Each consciously executed movement has its starting point here. The CNS is also responsible for thinking processes, both conscious and unconscious thinking.

More precisely, the CNS exercises control over the overall coordination of the complicated details of posture and movement. The CNS is the seat of consciousness, language and thought. Also the memory and each of its achievements are settled in this area.

Last but not least, the regulation and coordination of all organ systems of the body take place here. Breathing, the circulation of the blood, all internal organs, the muscles and sensory organs as well as the peripheral nervous system are controlled here. The CNS can be called the control center of the human organism.

Diseases

As a result, a disease of this system has far-reaching consequences. If the CNS is damaged, in many cases the entire body is affected. The most common CNS disorders include epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, depression, dementia and Alzheimer's.

With around 40, 000 new cases, epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases. In an epileptic seizure, many nerve cells discharge too quickly in succession and even at the same time. This can lead to cloudiness of consciousness.

Parkinson's disease is characterized by uncontrollable tremors, slow movements and stiffening of the muscles. As a cause of science has identified the insufficient supply of the brain with the messenger dopamine.

Every person has depressive moods. But if such conditions persist over a longer period of time, it can be assumed that a serious illness has occurred. Longer sadness without real reason, drive and energy laxity characterize a depression that often ends in suicide. Depression is increasingly diagnosed, as is Alzheimer's.

The dreaded disease is defined as brain organic. In this disease, nerve cells and also the connections between the cells slowly die off. Researchers have found deposits of protein, known as plaques, which are typical of Alzheimer's patients. The everyday competence of those affected decreases more and more. The serious effects of a damaged CNS make it clear how important the central nervous system is to humans.

Typical & common diseases

  • epilepsy
  • Alzheimer's, dementia, Parkinson's
  • depressions
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