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Nervous System

Nervous System

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Overview of the Nervous System,Definitions, Nuerotransmitters, Reflexes, Diseases, Effects of SNS and PSNS to body tissues, Cranial Nerves
Overview of the Nervous System,Definitions, Nuerotransmitters, Reflexes, Diseases, Effects of SNS and PSNS to body tissues, Cranial Nerves

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Published by: Leynalyn Pardo Resonable on Sep 30, 2010
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Chapter VIIINervous SystemOverview of the Nervous SystemA. Neurons (nerve cells)
are the basic structural andfunctional units; about 10 billion in the human brain.
B. Central Nervous System (CNS):
spinal cord and brain.
C. Peripheral Nervous System (PNS):
nerves and ganglia.
D. Autonomic Nervous System (ANS):
sympathetic and parasympathetic.
E. Sense OrgansF. Definitions1. White matter:
bundles of myelinated nerve fibers.
2. Gray matter:
clusters of mainly neuronal cell bodies.
3. Nerves:
bundles of myelinated nerve fibers located outsidethe CNS.
4. Tracts:
bundles of myelinated nerve fibers located withinthe CNS.
5. Ganglia:
microscopic structures consisting of neuron cell bodies; mainly located outside the CNS.
A. General Properties and Functions1. Irritability: response to stimulus.2. Conductivity: conduct electrical energy (nerve impulse); basis for body’s rapid communication and integrationnetwork.3. Types:
a. Sensory (afferent) neurons:
transmit impulse to spinalcord or brain.
b. Motoneurons (efferent) neurons:
transmit impulses awayfrom brain or spinal cord toward muscles or glands.1.
Somatic motoneurons
: transmit impulses from the cord or  brainstem to skeletal muscles.2.
Visceral or Autonomic motorneurons
: transmit impulsesfrom the cord or brainstem to smooth muscle, cardiac muscleor glands.
c. Interneurons
(internuncial or intercalated neurons):transmit impulses from sensory neurons to motoneurons.4. Neurons cannot be replaced if lost, but neuronal contentsare constantly being replenished; a system of axonal flowdistributes neural components to all regions from the cell body, where most synthesis occurs.B. Structure: well suited to transmitting impulses ovedistances.
Nerve Tissue
 Nerve tissue one of the primary tissues of the body iscomposed of neurons.
1. Neurons-
one of the cell that constitute nervous tissue, thathave the property of transmitting and receiving nervousimpulses.
supporting cells of the nervous system. Itfunctions as phagocytes and are part of the blood-brain barrier that restricts certain substances from the brain.
3. Cell Body-
nucleus containing central part of the neuronwhich is the major structural element of the brain and spinalcord.
3. Dendrites-
carry impulses toward the cell body.
4. Axons-
carry impulses away from the cell body.
5. Neurofibrils-
fine proteinaceous fibril that is found incytoplasm of a neuron and is capable of conducting excitation.
6. Nissl Bodies-
is a large granular body found inneuronsandare concerned with protein synthesis needed to replace proteins used by neurons in their metabolic activities.
7. Ganglia-
are small modules of nerve tissue that provide for some nerve connections within the autonomic nervous systemand house the sensory cell bodies of the spinal neurons.
8. Myelin sheath-
is a white lipoprotein substance that givessome nervous tissue a white appearance.
9. Nodes of Ranvier-
a constriction along the myelin sheathlocated along a myelinated nerve. At these point where there isno myelin insulation, there is exchange of sodium and potassium into and out of the nerve fiber. This exchange of ions according to the membrane theory of nerve transmission,assists in the transmission of the nerve impulse.
10. Neurilemma-
a thin multinucleated covering believed to be essential to the repair of nerve tissue. Note: Nerve fibers inthe brain do not contain neurilemma that is why whendestroyed they normally would not regenerate anymore.
11. Schwann Cell-
a cell that forms spiral layers aroundmyelinated nerve fiber between two nodes of ranvier andforms the myelin sheath.12.
the delicate connective tissue network holding together the individual fiber of a nerve trunk.13.
the connective tissue sheath that surrounds bundle of fibers.14.
the external connective tissue sheath of anerve trunk.
 Neurons are commonly classified according to their function.
1. Afferent neurons
- are sensory and carry impulses from the periphery to the central nervous system.Their dendrites have special receptor end organs called:
a. Extroreceptors
- are located near the surface of the bodyand are sensitive to such stimuli which includes sensation of temperature, pain, or touch from external environment.
b. Interoreceptors
- found in the viscera and gives rise tovisceral sensation.
c. Proprioceptors
- located in muscles, joints and tendons, andthe labyrinth of the ear, and are concerned with muscle sense, position, and movement of the body in space.
does all of the interpretation of allsensation.
2. Efferent neurons-
are motor and secretory. They transmitimpulses from the CNS to muscles and glands, deliveringorders for activity. Note: There are purely sensory neurons such as the optic andolfactory nerves but no pure motor neurons since motor neurons must also carry sensory messages to inform the brainthe degree of muscle contraction.
4. Bipolar neurons
are found in the eyes, nose, and ears, andhave a single axon and a single dendrite extending fromopposite sides of the cell body.
5. Unipolar neurons
are found in ganglia outside the CNSand have an axon and a dendrite arising from a single shortfiber extending from the cell body.
6. Multipolar neurons
have many nerve fibers arising fromtheir cell bodies and are commonly found in the brain andspinal cord.
7. Internuncial Neurons-
neurons transmit impulses from one part of the brain or cord to another. These neurons do notleave the central nervous system.
contact between neurons. This is a tiny spacewhere the impulse from the axon of one neuron is transmittedto the dendrite of another neuron.
PROPERTIES OF NERVE CONDUCTION1. Irritability/ excitability-
enable the nerve tissue to respondtostimuli.
Sensory Adaptation
- the receptors may lose their irritabilitytemporarily because of prolonged stimulation.For example: the olfactory nerves for smell become sensoryadapted easily. For this reason, we quickly become unaware of unpleasant odors, such as stale cigarette smoke. If we leave asmoky room, go into fresh air for awhile, and then return, wereadily notice the unpleasant odor.
2. Conductivity-
is the ability of the nerve to transmitimpulses. The velocity of the impulse going to skeletalmuscles is rapid. Large myelinated nerves transmit at speedsof 100 meters per second (200 miles per hour). Small,unmyelinated fibers supplying viscera conduct at about 0.5 to1 meter per second.
For the conduction of a nerve impulse over a nerve fiber, anelectrical potential must be established.
Membrane Potential-
is an electrical potential which resultsfrom the different concentration of ions on either side of themembrane. Under normal circumstances, positively chargedsodium ions are greater on the outside of the membrane and positively charged potassium ions are greater in the inside of the membrane.
1. Resting Potential-
sodium ions are on the outside of thecell membrane and potassium are on the inside of the cellmembrane.- For sodium to cross the membrane, energy is required. Thisenergy is produce by the mitochondria of the neuron and the process is called
sodium pump.
is important trked by intermittent tonic spasm of the voluntaryonce that is ma close the sodium channels inorder that repeated entrance of sodium into the membranewould not occur, otherwise repeated impulse would occuagain and again stimulating muscle spasms which may resultto tetany.-
it is a physiological calcium imbalance that ismarked by intermittent tonic spasm of the voluntary muscles.-
local anesthetic
which decreases the permeability of sodium into the membrane and therebyimpulses are prevented from passing through this region.
2. Depolarized State-
when the nerve is stimulated, the permeability of the membrane is altered and allows the sodiumto enter, causing membrane to become suddenly positiveinside and negative outside. Sodium ions flow through themembrane in the new segment causing electrical current tospread along the fiber.-
Depolarization wave-
a spread of electrical current alongthe membrane. Also known as
nerve impulse
3. Repolarization State-
after a few ten thousandths of asecond after depolarization, the membrane again becomesimpermeable to sodium ions and potassium shift again insideto the membrane. Because to many potassium ions are inside,many of them shift to the outside carrying positive chargeswith them. This once again creates a negative charge on theinside and positive charge on the outside of the membrane.-
is a graphic recording of electricalchanges in the brain.
As we have seen, the nerve impulse travels rapidly over anerve fiber is electrical. When the impulse reaches theterminal end of the axon and is to be transmitted to another neuron or muscle, the transmission becomes chemical.
is the chemical mediator at most synapses inthe peripheral nervous system and between nerves and skeletalmuscles.
an enzyme which breaks acetylcholineinto acetate and choline so that the impulse does not continueindefinitely.
Choline acetyltransferase-
unites choline and acetate anddiffuses it back to the axon vesicles for future use.
the place at which a nervous impulse passes fromone neuron to another.
Synaptic Vesicle-
a small secretory vesicle that contains aneurotransmitter and is found inside the axon near the presynaptic membrane.
a substance which transmits nerveimpulse across a synapse.
neurotransmitter plays a critical role in the
control of movement
. It has a
stimulating effect on theheart
, the circulation, the rate of metabolism, and is able tomobilize many of the body's energy reserves,
controlcoordination and movement,
release chemicals that allow usto feel
(e.g., endorphins),- The major precursor of dopamine is the nonessential aminoacid
tyrosine.- Deficiency:
May lead to
Parkinson’s Disease
May lead to
Schizophrenia2. Serotonin-
stimulates release of a hormone,
within the
pineal gland
, which regulates the body clock andsleep, causes
blood vessels to constrict
emotional stability
or regulation of mood,
appetite control
.- The major precursor of serotonin is
tryptophan.- Deficiency:
May lead to Depression
3. Norepinephrine-
also known as
, is aneurotransmitter found in the sympathetic nervous system.The sympathetic nervous system
stimulates the heart
, bloodvessels, sweat glands, the large internal organs, and theadrenal medulla in the brain,
fosters alertness
, and plays animportant regulatory role in
long-term memory
and learning,Arousal, energy, drive,
fight and flight response
The major precursors of NE and Epinephrine are
Tyrosine.4. Enkephalin-
internal calm, sense of well being, feelings of euphoria, self-concept, physiologic pain management, psychological pain relief.The major precursor of Enkephalin are
phenylalanine,glycine.5. GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric Acid)-
is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter that acts through a negativefeedback system to block the transmission of a signal fromone cell to another. It is important for balancing the excitationin the brain. Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs) work on theGABA receptors of the brain, inducing a state of relaxation
The major precursor to GABA is
L-Glutamine.5. Acetylcholine-
is believed to be associated with muscleactivation, learning, and memory.
May lead to
Alzheimer’s Disease6. Histamine
- is thought to influence arousal, attention andlearning. It is also released in response to an allergic reaction.
7. Glutamate-
is an
excitatory neurotransmitter
and is themost abundant chemical messenger in the brain. It is believedto be involved in learning and memory. Certain diseases (suchas Alzheimer’s disease) or brain injury (such as
cause too much glutamate
to accumulate. This can set thestage for 
, a process that can lead to damage or death of the affected brain cells.
8. Dynorphin-
it functions in physiologic pain managementand has a calming effect. It is 200 times more powerful thanmorphine.
is an enzyme which inactivates
Reflexes can be classified in several ways. Clinically, they arefrequently classified according to the part affected.
Classification According to Structure Involved:1. Deep Tendon Reflexa. Tendon of Achilles Reflex-
ankle jerk is produced bytapping the tendon of Achilles, plantar flexion of the footoccurs.
b. Patellar Reflex-
knee jerk is produced by tapping thequadriceps femoris, just below the patella; it results in legextension.
2. Superficial Reflex

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