Physiology of the Central Nervous System

NERVOUS SYSTEM

CNS

PNS

BRAIN SPINAL CORD

ANS

SNS

Sympathetic Parasympathetic

Structures/Substances that protect the brain and spinal cord
y Bones y Meninges y CSF y Blood Brain Barrier

BRAIN and SPINAL CORD
BRAIN

SPINAL CORD

Meninges
CRANIAL MENINGES

SPINAL MENINGES

SUBDURAL SPACE

Cerebrospinal Fluid
y Found in the ventricles, cistern and subarachnoid space. y Produced in the choroid plexus (5070%), ependymal surfaces, around the blood vessels and subaracnoidal membranes. y Constitutes 15% of the brain volume

Characteristics of cerebrospinal fluid
y CSF is clear, colorless and alkaline fluid y Volume § 150 ml y Rate of production § 500 - 550 ml/day y Turnover § 3 - 4 times / day y CSF pressure § 120 ± 180 mm H2O or 70 ± 180 mm CSF

Functions of CSF
yIt protects the brain and spinal

cord yIt regulates the extracellular environment of the brain and spinal cord yProvides nutrition

Hydrocephalus yAccumulation of large amount of fluid (CSF) in the brain.

Blood Brain Barrier
y Barrier to free ion flow between the blood and the brain tissue. y Immature at birth y Composed of;
y Endothelial cells (tight junction) y Epithelial cells of the choroid plexus (tight

junction) y Plial and arachnoid membranes y Footlike processes of asrocytes

y Disruption of BBB can be due to;
y Infection y Trauma/injury y Tumors y Marked increases in blood pressure y Intravenous injection of hypertonic

fluid

Functions of BBB
y It maintains the constancy of the environment of the neurons in the CNS. y It protects the brain tissue from endogenous and exogenous toxins in the blood y It prevents the escape of NTA into the general circulation.

Permeability of BBB
y highly permeable (small and non polar)
y water, CO2, O2, L-dopa (dopamine), and 5-HT

(serotonin)

y less permeable (small and large polar substances)
y glucose (GLUT1 55k and 45k), HCO3-, Na+, Cl-

K+ (Na+K+Cl- cotransporter), H+ etc.

y impermeable
y proteins protein-bound substances

Cerebral Hemispheres
y Activity in the two hemispheres is coordinated by interconnections through the cerebral commisures. y Bulk of the neocortex is interconnected through the corpus callosum

Cerebral Dominance
y Dominant (Categorical ) Hemisphere
y For sequential and analytical processes y Main language center y Center for calculation y Expressing ideas in speech and writing y Understanding printed and spoken words y Stereognosis

Dominance appears at about 5 ± 7 years of age

y Non-dominant (representational) hemisphere Nony Spatiotemporal relations y Simple language comprehension y Stereognosis y Non-verbal ideation Nony Recognition of faces y Identification of objects by their form y Appreciation of art/music/tones y Interpretation of body language

Hemispheric dominance - Handedness
y In 96% of right handed the left y In 15% of left handed the right y In 15% of left handed

the dominant hemisphere is the dominant hemisphere is

there is no clear lateralization y In 70% of left handed the dominant hemisphere is the left

Basal Ganglia
y Controls rate of voluntary motor activity y Either enhance or decrease voluntary motor activity y Also involved in planning and programming motor command

LIMBIC SYSTEM
y Formerly called

rhiencephalon y Intimately concerned with emotional expressions (fear, rage and sexual behavior) and with the genesis of emotions y plays a role in olfaction y concerned with autonomic responses

Limbic System
y The allocortex and juxtallocortex y Major connections to the hippocampal system, olfactory tract and amygdala y Along with the hypothalamus concerned with sexual behavior, emotions (rage & fear) and motivation

Prolonged after-discharge following stimulation so emotion is not easily turned on and off at will

EMOTIONS
y Mental Components
y Congnition y Affect y Conation

y Physical Components
y Hypertension y Tachycardia and tachypnea y Sweating

THALAMUS
sensory and motor relay to the cerebral cortex

HYPOTHALAMUS

Functions of Hypothalamus
y regulation of body temperature y anterior hypothalamus - response to heat y posterior hypothalamus - response to cold

Functions of Hypothalamus
y regulation of endocrine activity by secreting

various hormones:
y ADH (vasopressin) y Oxytocin y catecholamines y y y y y

Paraventricular Supraoptic nuclei Arcuate nucleus

CRH - paraventricular GRH - paraventricular and arcuate nuclei TRH - paraventricular nuclei GnRH - preoptic PRH /PIH - periventricular and arcuate nucleus

Functions of Hypothalamus
y regulation of food

intake
y satiety center -

ventromedial nucleus
y

decreases appetite when stimulated

y feeding center - lateral

hypothalamus
y

increases appetite when stimulated

Functions of Hypothalamus
y regulation of water

intake
y thirst center - lateral

hypothalamus
y

increases water intake when stimulated

y controls circadian

rhythm
y suprachiasmatic nuclei

Functions of Hypothalamus
y regulation of

autonomic responses y concerned with sexual behavior, emotions of rage and fear and motivation

y autonomic function y regulation of the cardiovascular system y regulation of the respiratory system y body water and electrolyte balance y regulates GI secretory activities

ENDOCRINE FUNCTIONS

BRAIN STEM
y Composed of
y Midbrain y Pons y Medulla

oblongata

MIDBRAIN
y acoustic relay, control

of eye movement and motor control y cranial nerves associated with the pons and midbrain are III, IV, V, VI and VII

PONS
y respiratory and urinary bladder control y vestibular control of eye movement

MEDULLA OBLONGATA
y contains vital centers
y Cardiovascular centers y Respiratory centers

y responsible for brainstem

reflexes

y vomiting y sneezing y swallowing (central

program generator) y gagging y coughing

y control of visceral functions and brainstem

reflexes y cranial nerves associated with the medulla are the XII, XI, X, IX and part of VII. y brainstem reflexes Gustatory, Gag, Cough, Baroreceptor, Baroreceptor, Chemoreceptor, Vomiting

CEREBELLUM

involved in motor coordination

CEREBELLUM
helps regulate movements and posture and also involved in some forms of motor learning.  its major role is for motor coordination (rate, range, force and direction of the movement) 

SPINAL CORD

Spinal Cord
y Center for reflex actions y Somatic and autonomic afferent pathways y Somatic and autonomic efferent pathways y Center for micturition and defecation y Exerts tonic influence on muscles y Involve in the execution of motor commands y Provides communicating branches for the

autonomic nervous system

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