Nerve disorders, also known as neurological disorders or neuropathies, are conditions that affect the normal functioning of the nervous system. These disorders can arise from various causes, including genetic factors, infections, autoimmune responses, injuries, toxins, and degenerative processes. Nerve disorders can have a wide range of symptoms and can affect different parts of the nervous system, including the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS).
The nervous system is divided into two main parts:
the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS).
Central Nervous System (CNS): The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord. It is responsible for processing and integrating sensory information, initiating motor responses, and coordinating higher functions such as thinking, memory, and emotion. The brain plays a central role in interpreting sensory input, making decisions, and sending commands to the rest of the body. The spinal cord acts as a relay between the brain and the peripheral nerves, and it also controls certain reflex actions.
Peripheral Nervous System (PNS): The PNS includes all the nerves outside the CNS. It can be further divided into the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system.
Somatic Nervous System: This part of the PNS is responsible for voluntary movements and sensory perception. It transmits signals between the CNS and the body's muscles and sensory receptors, allowing conscious control over actions like walking, talking, and touching.
Autonomic Nervous System (ANS): The ANS controls involuntary functions of the body, such as heartbeat, digestion, breathing, and glandular activity. It is further divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions, which work in opposition to regulate various physiological processes and maintain homeostasis.
Neurons are the fundamental cells of the nervous system and are responsible for transmitting electrical signals, or nerve impulses, across synapses (junctions) to communicate with other neurons, muscles, or glands. Supporting cells called glial cells provide structural support, insulation, and nourishment to neurons.
The nervous system plays a critical role in maintaining the body's internal environment, responding to changes in the external environment, and coordinating various physiological processes necessary for survival and adaptation.