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What System Is The Brain In

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Dk Science: Body Systems

Nervous system

Our body structures are arranged into several different systems, each with its own specific function. The smallest units in the body are CELLS, which share certain characteristics. These tiny structures are collected into TISSUES, which are themselves arranged into ORGANS. Different body systems consist of collections of cells, tissues, and organs with a common purpose.

The Central Nervous System In Your Body

Claudia Chaves, MD, is board-certified in cerebrovascular disease and neurology with a subspecialty certification in vascular neurology.

The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. The CNS receives sensory information from the nervous system and controls the body’s responses. The CNS is differentiated from the peripheral nervous system, which involves all of the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord that carry messages to the CNS.

The central nervous system plays a primary role in receiving information from various areas of the body and then coordinating this activity to produce the body’s responses.

The Central Nervous System : The Neurons Inside The Brain

The Central Nervous System, or CNS for short, is made up of the brain and spinal cord . The CNS is the portion of the nervous system that is encased in bone . It is referred to as central because it is the brain and spinal cord that are primarily responsible for processing sensory informationtouching a hot stove or seeing a rainbow, for exampleand sending signals to the peripheral nervous system for action. It communicates largely by sending electrical signals through individual nerve cells that make up the fundamental building blocks of the nervous system, called neurons. There are approximately 86 billion neurons in the human brain and each has many contacts with other neurons, called synapses .;

;If we were to zoom in still further we could take a closer look at the synapse, the space between neurons . Here, we would see that there is a space between neurons, called the synaptic gap. To give you a sense of scale we can compare the synaptic gap to the thickness of a dime, the thinnest of all American coins . You could stack approximately 70,000 synaptic gaps in the thickness of a single coin!

It is amazing to realize that when you thinkwhen you reach out to grab a glass of water, when you realize that your best friend is happy, when you try to remember the name of the parts of a neuronwhat you are experiencing is actually electro-chemical impulses shooting between nerves!

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The Brainstem: Middle Of The Brain

The brainstem is located in front of the cerebellum. Think of the brainstem like a computer hard-drive. It is the bodys main control panel and is responsible for conveying messages between the brain and other parts of the body. The cerebrum, the cerebellum and the spinal cord are all connected to the brainstem. The brainstem has three main parts: the midbrain, the pons and the medulla oblongata.

The brain stem controls these vital body functions:

  • Breathing

Functions Of The Central Nervous System

Central Nervous System
    • B.A., Biology, Emory University
    • A.S., Nursing, Chattahoochee Technical College

    The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord. It is part of the overall nervous system that also includes a complex network of;neurons, known as the peripheral nervous system. The nervous system is responsible for sending, receiving, and interpreting information from all parts of the body. The nervous system monitors and coordinates internal organ function and responds to changes in the external environment.

    The;central nervous system functions;as the processing center for the nervous system. It receives information from and sends information to the;peripheral nervous system. The brain processes and interprets sensory information sent from the spinal cord. Both the brain and spinal cord are protected by a three-layered covering of;connective tissue;called the;meninges.

    Within the central nervous system is a system of hollow cavities called;ventricles. The network of linked cavities in the brain is continuous with the central canal of the spinal cord. The ventricles are filled with cerebrospinal fluid, which is produced by specialized;epithelium;located within the ventricles called the;choroid plexus. Cerebrospinal fluid surrounds, cushions, and protects the brain and spinal cord from trauma. It also assists in the circulation of nutrients to the brain.;

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    Problems Of The Nervous System

    Some common problems of the nervous system include:

    • Epilepsy storms of abnormal electrical activity in the brain causing seizures
    • Meningitis inflammation of the membrane covering the brain
    • Multiple sclerosis the myelin sheaths protecting the electrical cables of the central nervous system are attacked
    • Parkinsons disease death of neurones in a part of the brain called the midbrain. Symptoms include shaking and problems with movement
    • Sciatica pressure on a nerve caused by a slipped disc in the spine or arthritis of the spine and, sometimes, other factors
    • Shingles infection of sensory nerves caused by the varicella-zoster virus
    • Stroke a lack of blood to part of the brain.

    Does The Brain Stay Alive After A Person Dies

    April 2019 marked a milestone for both the initiative and neuroscience research at large: BRAIN Initiative researcher Nenad Sestan, of the Yale School of Medicine, published a report in the journal Nature, revealing that his research team had restored circulation and some cellular functions to pig brains four hours after the animals’ deaths, Live Science previously reported. The results challenged the prevailing view that brain cells are suddenly and irreversibly damaged shortly after the heart stops beating. The researchers did not observe any signs of consciousness in the brains, nor were they trying to; on the contrary, the researchers injected pig brains with chemicals that mimicked blood flow and also blocked neurons from firing. The researchers emphasized that they did not bring the pig brains back to life. They did, however, restore some of their cellular activity.;

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    A Sorting Station: The Thalamus Mediates Sensory Data And Relays Signals To The Conscious Brain

    The diencephalon is a region of the forebrain, connected to both the midbrain and the cerebrum. The thalamus forms most of the diencephalon. It consists of two symmetrical egg-shaped masses, with neurons that radiate out through the cerebral cortex. Sensory data floods into the thalamus from the brain stem, along with emotional, visceral, and other information from different areas of the brain. The thalamus relays these messages to the appropriate areas of the cerebral cortex. It determines which signals require conscious awareness, and which should be available for learning and memory.

    Gene And Protein Expression

    Lymphatic system in the brain

    Bioinformatics is a field of study that includes the creation and advancement of databases, and computational and statistical techniques, that can be used in studies of the human brain, particularly in the areas of gene and protein expression. Bioinformatics and studies in genomics, and functional genomics, generated the need for DNA annotation, a transcriptome technology, identifying genes, their locations and functions.GeneCards is a major database.

    As of 2017, just under 20,000 protein-coding genes are seen to be expressed in the human, and some 400 of these genes are brain-specific. The data that has been provided on gene expression in the brain has fuelled further research into a number of disorders. The long term use of alcohol for example, has shown altered gene expression in the brain, and cell-type specific changes that may relate to alcohol use disorder. These changes have been noted in the synaptictranscriptome in the prefrontal cortex, and are seen as a factor causing the drive to alcohol dependence, and also to other substance abuses.

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    Overview Of The Nervous System

    , MD, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

    and spinal cord Spinal Cord The spinal cord is a long, fragile tubelike structure that begins at the end of the brain stem and continues down almost to the bottom of the spine. The spinal cord consists of bundles of nerve… read more) and the peripheral nervous system Overview of the Peripheral Nervous System The peripheral nervous system refers to the parts of the nervous system that are outside the central nervous system, that is, those outside the brain and spinal cord. Thus, the peripheral nervous… read more .

    The basic unit of the nervous system is the nerve cell . Nerve cells consist of a large cell body and two types of nerve fibers:

    • Axon: A long, slender nerve fiber that projects from a nerve cell and can send messages as electrical impulses to other nerve cells and muscles

    • Dendrites: Branches of nerve cells that receive electrical impulses

    Normally, nerves transmit impulses electrically in one directionfrom the impulse-sending axon of one nerve cell to the impulse-receiving dendrites of the next nerve cell. At contact points between nerve cells, , the axon secretes tiny amounts of chemical messengers . Neurotransmitters trigger the receptors on the next nerve cell dendrites to produce a new electrical current. Different types of nerves use different neurotransmitters to convey impulses across the synapses. Some of the impulses stimulate the next nerve cell, whereas others inhibit it.

    Studies Of Desire And Reward

    As previously discussed, different reward regions and pathways are activated when experiencing a pleasurable stimulus. Researchers have since expanded on this research to look into whether the stimulus needs to actually be experienced for these reward centers to be activated, or whether the anticipation of a reward triggers these areas.

    Spreckelmeyer et al., used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate whether the anticipation of a monetary reward has a significant effect on the brain.

    They found that through the fMRI data, there was activation of the neural structures relating to the reward system when anticipating a reward. It has also been found that the bigger the potential reward , the greater the brain activity in the reward areas.

    These findings provide us with a better understanding of how reward systems work in the brain and that the brain areas can stimulate a reward response without experiencing a reward yet.

    Sherman, Hernandez, Greenfield and Dapretto investigated the neural structures that are activated in terms of social media rewards. The âLikeâ option, which is prevalent on many social media platforms, is believed to give social rewards to those who receive them.

    The researchers found this to be the case when the participants completed a task in an MRI scanner. This task was designed to mimic the social photo-sharing app Instagram.

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    The Brain And Nervous System

    Portland State University

    The brain is the most complex part of the human body. It is the center of consciousness and also controls all voluntary and involuntary movement and bodily functions. It communicates with each part of the body through the nervous system, a network of channels that carry electrochemical signals.

    Neural Circuits And Systems

    MAshooq: Brain and Nervous System

    The basic neuronal function of sending signals to other cells includes a capability for neurons to exchange signals with each other. Networks formed by interconnected groups of neurons are capable of a wide variety of functions, including feature detection, pattern generation, and timing . In fact, it is difficult to assign limits to the types of information processing that can be carried out by neural networks: Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts proved in 1943 that even artificial neural networks formed from a greatly simplified mathematical abstraction of a neuron are capable of universal computation. Given that individual neurons can generate complex temporal patterns of activity independently, the range of capabilities possible for even small groups of neurons are beyond current understanding.

    Treatise of Man

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    The Thalamus And Hypothalamus

    Both the thalamus and hypothalamus are associated with changes in emotional reactivity. The thalamus, which is a sensory way-station for the rest of the brain, is primarily important due to its connections with other limbic-system structures. The hypothalamus is a small part of the brain located just below the thalamus on both sides of the third ventricle. Lesions of the hypothalamus interfere with several unconscious functions and some so-called motivated behaviors like sexuality, combativeness, and hunger. The lateral parts of the hypothalamus seem to be involved with pleasure and rage, while the medial part is linked to aversion, displeasure, and a tendency for uncontrollable and loud laughter.

    The Lobes Of The Brain

    The brain is separated into four lobes: the frontal, temporal, occipital, and parietal lobes.

    Lobes of the brain: The brain is divided into four lobes, each of which is associated with different types of mental processes. Clockwise from left: The frontal lobe is in blue at the front, the parietal lobe in yellow at the top, the occipital lobe in red at the back, and the temporal lobe in green on the bottom.

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    What Conditions And Disorders Affect The Nervous System

    Thousands of disorders and conditions can affect your nerves. An injured nerve has trouble sending a message. Sometimes its so damaged that it cant send or receive a message at all. Nerve injury can cause numbness, a pins-and-needles feeling or pain. It may be difficult or impossible for you to move the area thats injured.

    Nerve damage can happen in several ways. Some of the most common causes of nerve damage include:

    About The Brain And Spinal Cord

    Nervous System: The Brain

    Together, the brain and spinal cord form the central nervous system. This complex system is part of everything we do. It controls the things we choose to dolike walk and talkand the things our body does automaticallylike breathe and digest food. The central nervous system is also involved with our sensesseeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling;as well as our emotions, thoughts, and memory.

    The brain is a soft, spongy mass of nerve cells and supportive tissue. It has three major parts: the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brain stem. The parts work together, but each has special functions.

    The cerebrum, the largest part of the brain, fills most of the upper skull. It has two halves called the left and right cerebral hemispheres. The cerebrum uses information from our senses to tell us what’s going on around us and tells our body how to respond. The right hemisphere controls the muscles on the left side of the body, and the left hemisphere controls the muscles on the right side of the body. This part of the brain also controls speech and emotions as well as reading, thinking, and learning.

    The cerebellum, under the cerebrum at the back of the brain, controls balance and complex actions like walking and talking.

    The brain stem connects the brain with the spinal cord. It controls hunger and thirst and some of the most basic body functions, such as body temperature, blood pressure, and breathing.

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    White And Gray Matter

    The CNS can be roughly divided into white and gray matter. As a very general rule, the brain consists of an outer cortex of gray matter and an inner area housing tracts of white matter.

    Both types of tissue contain glial cells, which protect and support neurons. White matter mostly consists of axons and oligodendrocytes a type of glial cell whereas gray matter consists predominantly of neurons.

    Also called neuroglia, glial cells are often called support cells for neurons. In the brain, they outnumber nerve cells 10 to 1.

    Without glial cells, developing nerves often lose their way and struggle to form functioning synapses.

    Glial cells are found in both the CNS and PNS but each system has different types. The following are brief descriptions of the CNS glial cell types:

    Astrocytes: these cells have numerous projections and anchor neurons to their blood supply. They also regulate the local environment by removing excess ions and recycling neurotransmitters.

    Oligodendrocytes: responsible for creating the myelin sheath this thin layer coats nerve cells, allowing them to send signals quickly and efficiently.

    Ependymal cells: lining the spinal cord and the brains ventricles , these create and secrete cerebrospinal fluid and keep it circulating using their whip-like cilia.

    Radial glia: act as scaffolding for new nerve cells during the creation of the embryos nervous system.

    The Peripheral Nervous System

    In addition to the central nervous system there is also a complex network of nerves that travel to every part of the body. This is called the;peripheral nervous system and it carries the signals necessary for the body to survive . Some of the signals carried by the PNS are related to voluntary actions. If you want to type a message to a friend, for instance, you make conscious choices about which letters go in what order and your brain sends the appropriate signals to your fingers to do the work. Other processes, by contrast, are not voluntary. Without your awareness your brain is also sending signals to your organs, your digestive system, and the muscles that are holding you up right now with instructions about what they should be doing. All of this occurs through the pathways of your peripheral nervous system.

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    Neurones Are The Building Blocks

    The basic building block of the nervous system is a nerve cell, or neurone. Neurones are shaped differently depending on where they are in the body and what role they play. All neurones have finger-like projections called dendrites and a long fibre called an axon.In many cases, the axon is coated by a specialised membrane called a myelin sheath. The axon feathers out and has a number of bumps on it. Each bump sits near to a dendrite from another neurone. The space between the bump and the dendrite is called a synapse. Messages jump the synapse from one neurone to the next, using special chemicals called neurotransmitters.Unlike other cells in the body, neurones arent easily replaced if they die or are damaged by infection or injury.

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