The nervous system is the body’s electrical wiring system that controls and coordinates all of the body’s functions. It is composed of two main parts: the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system (PNS), which consists of all the nerves that lie outside the CNS.
The nervous system works by transmitting signals (or nerve impulses) between the brain and different parts of the body. When a nerve impulse reaches the end of a nerve fiber, it triggers the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters, which cross the tiny gap (or synapse) between the nerve fibers and bind to receptors on the next nerve fiber, transmitting the signal on to the next nerve.
Some common disorders of the nervous system include:
- Alzheimer’s disease: a progressive brain disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior.
- Multiple sclerosis: a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system and causes a wide range of symptoms, including muscle weakness, difficulty with coordination and balance, and vision problems.
- Parkinson’s disease: a progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement and can cause tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination.
- Epilepsy: a condition characterized by recurrent seizures (or convulsions) that are caused by excessive electrical activity in the brain.
- Migraine: a type of headache characterized by severe pain, light sensitivity, and other symptoms like nausea and vomiting.
Treatment for nervous system disorders can vary, but may include medications, surgery, rehabilitation, and lifestyle changes.
It is important to work closely with a doctor to determine the best course of treatment for your specific condition. With proper treatment and management, many people with nervous system disorders are able to lead healthy and active lives.