Nervous system (Central nervous system, Peripheral nervous system & Autonomic nervous system)
Structure of the nervous system
Nervous system consists central nervous system ( Brain & Spinal cord ) , peripheral nervous system ( Cranial nerves & Spinal nerves ) , Autonomic nervous system ( Sympathetic nervous system & parasympathetic nervous system ) .
Central nervous system
It is the major part of central nervous system and its weight is about : 350 grams at birth , 1400 grams in an adult man , It occupies a bony space called the brain case or the skull ( cranium ) , It is surrounded by three membranes called the meningies which are responsible for the protection and nutrition of brain cells , 12 pairs of cranial nerves are connected to the brain .
These membranes are :
- The dura mater which lines the skull .
- The pia mater which is in direct contact and adheres to the brain .
- The arachnoid which is in between the other two membranes and contains a transparent fluid to protect the brain from the mechanical trauma .
The main components of brain are Forebrain ( Brain cortex , Thalamus , Hypothalamus ) , Midbrain , Hindbrain ( Cerebellum , Pons Varolii , Medulla oblongata ) .
The structure and function of each part of the brain :
It represents the largest part of brain , It consists of two cerebral hemispheres and cerebral cortex ,Thalamus , Hypothalamus .
Two cerebral hemispheres and cerebral cortex
Two big lobes separated by a big fissure and attached to each other by a big bundle of nerve fibers , Each lobe is called cerebral hemisphere , The cortex of each lobe ( cerebral cortex ) is characterized by the presence of depressions of different depths called fissures and grooves and in between there are folds .
Each cerebral hemisphere is divided into many lobes , which are frontal lobe , parietal lobe , occipital lobe & temporal lobe , The 5th lobe of cerebral cortex can not be seen by the naked eye as it is covered by the fronted and partial lobes .
Functions of cerebral cortex :
- Fronted lobe contains centers of voluntary movements ( motor centers ) and centres of memory and speech .
- Parietal lobe controls many sensory functions and contains centres of sensation of heat , cold , pressure and touch ( somatic sensations from the skin ) .
- Occipital lobe contains centres of vision .
- Temporal lobe contains centres of smell and taste , and also centres of hearing .
It is an important centre for the coordination of different sensations ( except the smell ) that reach the cortex .
It controls the different reflex actions and contains centres of : ( Hunger , Satiety , Thirst , Body temperature regulation , Sleep ) .
It is the smallest part of brain , It represents a connection between the forebrain and hindbrain , It contains centers of Equilibrium ( keeping the body balance ) , Hearing and Vision , It regulates many reflexes as those related to the hearing .
It consists of Cerebellum , Pons Varolii and medulla oblongata , Cerebellum is situated in the posterior region and consists of three lobes , It keeps the balance and equilibrium of the body in association with the inner ear and muscles .
Pons Varolii and medulla oblongata performs the following functions :
- Transmission of nerve impulses between the spinal cord and different brain regions .
- The medulla oblongata contains vital centres as those of respiration , swallowing , vomiting , cough , sneezing and blood vessels movement .
It exists inside a canal in the vertebral column called the neutral canal , It extends from the medulla oblongata in the form of cylindrical cord , Its length is about 45 cm long , It is hollow from the inside due to containing a central canal .
There are two fissures ( dorsal and ventral ) extend along the midline which divide the spinal cord incompletely into two halves , It is covered by three membranes ( meningies ) , which are Dura mater , Pia mater & Arachnoid .
Structure of the spinal cord
It consists of two layers :
- Outer white layer ( white matter ) formed from nerve fibers .
- Inner grey layer ( grey matter ) is H-shaped with two dorsal horns and two ventral horns formed from nerve cells with their dendrites and neuroglia .
Its function :
- White matter transmits impulses from the different body parts to the brain and vice versa .
- Grey matter is the main centre of reflex action , as it contains thousands of reflex arcs .
Peripheral nervous system
It connects the central nervous system with all parts of the body , It consists of a network of nerves distributed all over the body , which includes Cranial nerves and Spinal nerves .
Number : there are 12 pairs connected to the brain , Types : sensory ( containing sensory fibers only ) , motor ( containing motor fibers only ) or mixed nerves .
Number : 31 pairs connected to the spinal cord and they are mixed nerves with both sensory and motor fibers , Spinal nerves are divided into :
- Cervical nerves : 8 pairs .
- Thoracic nerves : 12 pairs .
- Lumbar nerves : 5 pairs .
- Sacral nerves : 5 pairs .
- Coccigeal nerves : 1 pair .
Types : all spinal nerves are mixed ( sensory and motor nerves ) , Each spinal nerve originates from the spinal cord by two roots ( dorsal and ventral ) .
Reflex arc ( Reflex action )
- Sensory nerve cell ( Afferent ) .
- Motor nerve cell ( Efferent ) .
The majority of reflex actions of five elements :
- Receptor ( Sense organs ) .
- Afferent ( Sensory ) neuron .
- Connector ( Intermediate ) neuron .
- Efferent ( Motor ) neuron .
- Effector ( Responding ) organ .
Types of reflex arc :
- Voluntary ( Somatic ) reflex arc : The effector organ is the skeletal muscle .
- Involuntary ( Autonomic ) reflex arc : The effector organ is an involuntary muscles or glands or heart .
Autonomic nervous system
It regulates the different involuntary activities such as contraction of the cardiac muscles and smooth ( involuntary ) muscles , secretion of the body glands , It consists of sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system .
Sympathetic nervous system
The nerve fibers of this system are arisen from the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spinal cord , This system is important as an emergency system , as it enables the body to confront the emergency situations .
Parasympathetic nervous system
Most of the internal parts of the body receive nerve fibers related to both the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems , and in most cases the effect of one system antagonizes the effect of the other .
The effect of sympathetic and parasympathetic systems on some parts of the body
Heart : sympathetic system increases the heartbeats rate and force of contraction , Parasympathetic system decreases the heartbeats rate and force of contraction .
Blood vessels : Effect of sympathetic NS is vasoconstriction ( contraction ) of blood vessels of skin , viscera , salivary glands , brain , external genetalia and lungs , Effects of Parasympathetic NS is vasodilation ( Relaxation ) of blood vessels of salivary glands and external genetalia .
Respiratory system : Effect of sympathetic NS is dilation ( Relaxation ) of bronchioles and decreases their secretions , Effect of Parasympathetic NS is constriction ( contraction ) of bronchioles and increases their secretions .
Urinary bladder : Effect of sympathetic NS is relaxation of the wall of urinary bladder , Effect of Parasympathetic NS is contraction of the wall of urinary bladder .
Glands : Salivary glands ( Sympathetic system stimulates little secretion of saliva , Parasympathetic system stimulates large secretion of saliva ) , Gastric juice of stomach ( Sympathetic system inhibits the secretion , Parasympathetic system stimulates the secretion ) .
Adrenal medulla : Sympathetic system stimulates the secretion of a adrenaline hormone ( epinephrine ) which increases the blood pressure , heart rate and the glucose level of blood , there is no parasympathetic fibers connection.