• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

I will discuss the structure and functions of the nervous system including the structure and functions of the brain, nerves (neurons), the spinal chord and will then describe 3 dysfunctions of the nervous system.

Extracts from this document...


The nervous system In this assignment I will discuss the structure and functions of the nervous system including the structure and functions of the brain, nerves (neurons), the spinal chord and will then describe 3 dysfunctions of the nervous system. The nervous system's overall function is to gather information about the external environment and the body's internal state and then to look at the information that has been gathered and work out the responses aimed at keeping the drives healthy, the most important would be to keep the body alive. There are 3 parts to the nervous system, the brain, the spine and the nerves in the body and they are split up into two categories, the first one is the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system. The CNS consists of the brain and spinal chord and its function is to gather information and send out instructions. The peripheral nervous system is made up of nerves and its job is to send messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The brain The first part to the nervous system is the brain, this is placed in the very top part of the body, in the cranium, it is around the size of two clenched fists and when fully formed weighs about three pounds. ...read more.


Motor nerves send messages from the central nervous system to skeletal muscle, muscles that control speech, internal organs, internal glands and sweat glands in the skin to bring a reaction. This information is then sent through nerves from the central nervous system to the rest of the body. The motor nerves are split into two, somatic and autonomic. The somatic nervous system send messages for potential actions to the skeletal muscles which are under voluntary control. The autonomic nervous system sends messaged for potential actions from the central nervous system to smooth muscle, cardiac muscle and certain glands. One dysfunction of the nervous system is Dementia. This is when the body stops all areas of mental ability. The cause is usually brain disease and doesn't get better once it starts because the cells in the brain have died however there are causes that can be reversed and memory brought back to its usual state, this is if it is caused by depression, drug intake, thyroid problems, a lot of alcohol intake or certain vitamin deficiencies. The most common way to spot dementia is a loss of intellectuality It is mostly caused from cerebro-vascular diseases such as alzheimer's disease. ...read more.


The final dysfunction is Parkinson's disease and this is a long-term neurological condition that affects around 120,000 people in the UK. Parkinson's disease affects the way the brain co-ordinates body movements and this includes walking, talking and writing. It affects both men and women, but men are slightly more likely to develop it than women. It is usually first diagnosed at around the age of 50. The symptoms of Parkinson's disease usually begin slowly and develop gradually, the symptoms are slowness of movement, trembling and shaking and stiffness of muscles. Parkinson's disease is usually caused by a loss of nerve cells in the part of the brain called the substantia nigra. The nerve cells in this part of the brain are responsible for producing a chemical called dopamine and opamine acts as a messenger between the brain and the nervous system and this helps control and co-ordinate our body movements. If the nerve cells become damaged or die, the amount of dopamine in the brain is shortened. This means that the part of the brain that controls movement cannot work as good as it should which causes body movements to become slow. The loss of nerve cells is a slow process. The level of dopamine in the brain lessens over time. Parkinson's disease symptoms will only show when around 80% of the nerve cells have died. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Healthcare essays

  1. Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a chronic degenerative disease of the central nervous system.

    Scientists have observed that patients suffering from MS have no oligodendrocytes near degenerative regions. Although this occurrence was previously thought to be caused by demyelination, recent research challenges this theory. At present the significance of oligodendrocytes death is unclear. Extensive research is needed to conclusively identify the problem prompting demyelination and the factors behind the diseases progression.

  2. P2 - Physiology of fluid balance

    I am now going to look in detail at diffusion, osmosis, facilitated diffusion and active transport and explain how materials are moved into and out of cells. In order to achieve M2 I will also look closely at the influences and different factors which affect the way in which materials move into and out of cells.

  1. Investigate the functions and dysfunctions of the respiratory system

    The pharynx is "is located behind the nasal cavity and above the larynx." (buzzle.com/articles/structure-of-the-human-respiratory-system.html, 27/02/12) The oxygen then goes through the larynx, the larynx is made of cartilaginous material and helps protect the trachea if there are any solid objects that have passed into the epiglottis by producing a strong cough.

  2. How does dystonia work in the brain?

    Sometimes a local dystonia may seem to arise directly following injury to a local body region. Can dystonia affect muscles such as the heart or diaphragm? Dystonia can affect breathing in several ways. Severe neck dystonia can cause difficulty breathing when the upper airway is partially closed off.

  1. How plastic is the adult brain?

    dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and olfactory bulb following intraperitoneal or intracentricular injections in normal adult rats and cats were evident. The willingness to accept adult neurogenesis was further enhanced by the convincing evidence that fetal tissue could be grafted^ in the adult intact brain.

  2. Human Anatomy and Physiology

    Epithelia?s are exposed to ?friction? as they are on the surface. For example, if a person tries to rub their skin the consequence would be that the upper layer of the epithelial will get damaged. However the capacity for growth and repair is greater than the other tissues, growth and repair occurs during the sleep.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work