Without an intact nervous system, humans would not be able to survive and survive. With the nervous system, nature has given the human organism an aid in finding its way in the environment. In addition, the nervous system is indispensable to coordinate and control all processes in the body.

What is the nervous system?

The nervous system comprises a complex of different components, which include the so-called nerve and glial cells and the control center, the brain.

Since all functional elements are in mutual communication with each other, a system of nerves is created - the nervous system. The nervous system is composed of the vegetative, the central and the peripheral part.

The individual areas that make up the nervous system, in turn, are based on various organs and organ complexes that include the spinal cord, nerve fibers, and nerve cells. As subsystems of the nervous system further anatomical differentiations are known, which support the functionality.

Anatomy & Construction

The nervous system is extremely complicated and based on components that are visible without tools and on microscopic structures.

In contrast to the central nervous system, the peripheral nervous system includes all neural pathways that permeate the body and also serve to stimulate the absorption of the skin. Various subsystems, which are broken down in both nervous systems and are often known as sympathetic and parasympathetic system, enteric and vegetative nervous system, based on the nerve tissue and the nerve cell (neuron) and glial cells.

The nerve cells represent a network structure in the nervous system, within which the neurons are functional. Basically, the nervous system does not work independently of other organs. For example, it is influenced by hormones.

Functions & Tasks

Schematic representation of the human nervous system with sympathetic and parasympathetic Click to enlarge.

The nervous system is the basis for a connection between man and his environment. The nervous system or systema nervosum has a control function, which includes all vital processes in the organism.

Through the nervous system, stimuli from the environment are perceived. These are transmitted and processed by the nervous system. In addition, the nervous system protects against injury. An important part of the nervous system takes on unconscious reactions and processes, some of which are involuntary. The nervous system also influences the function of various organs (heart rate, blood pressure, bronchi, digestive system and others).

The two parts of the nervous system, the peripheral and the central, are linked. The stimuli received from the environment through the eyes, ears, skin or tongue are transported via the nerve fibers and the glial cells to the corresponding processing areas in the brain.

Through the exchange of special chemical substances, among which the most well-known are the neurotransmitters, the conduction of the nerve cell to the nerve cell takes place via the processes. The brain as a control center is designed so that all incoming information is processed at a rapid pace and trigger a reaction on the nerves leading away.


All diseases that can occur in the nervous system are called neurological diseases. The health disorders affect the nervous system, the spinal cord and the brain, the nerves of the periphery and the muscles.

Nervous diseases such as all types of headaches, multiple sclerosis, inflammation of the central nervous system, meningitis and encephalitis are typical diseases of the nervous system.

The nervous system may also suffer from Parkinson's disease, cause Alzheimer's disease or lead to epilepsy. In addition, doctors treat a variety of disorders of the muscles that emanate from the nervous system. In the context of diseases of the nervous system are tumors of the brain and all diseases, which are significant with a motor disorder.

There are several causes for a number of disorders related to the nervous system. Often there is a neurological disorder in the brain when the blood vessels are closed by calcareous deposits or a blood clot. In this context, cerebral infarction or stroke is relevant.

Many diseases that lead to severe mental health impairment in the nervous system are based on inflammation or are a result of autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis). Diseases caused by an infection in the nervous system are, in addition to meningitis and encephalitis, myelitis, shingles, neuroborreliosis and infections affecting the nerves and muscle tissue.

Typical & common diseases

  • neuralgia
  • neuritis
  • polyneuropathy
  • epilepsy
  • babies and toddlers 
  • drug 
  • pathogen 
  • laboratory values 
  • treatments 
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