Central Nervous System: Structure and Diseases


The central nervous system is one of the many crucial systems in the body. The CNS allows us to utilise our five key senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.  The CNS consists of two mains parts, the brain and the spinal cord. The nerves transmit electrical impulses which travel to the brain. As well as the nerves letting us utilise our senses, they also conduct responses to changes in the environment around our bodies. The nerves consist of many neurons, neurons are made up of single nerve cell. Neurons help carry electrical impulses from the receptors, CNS and effectors. Neurons communicate with each other by sending chemical and electrical messages to the brain.  When neurons communicate, they are released and sent to a special cell called receptors. The receptor will then receive and transmit the message along to the next neuron and they will eventually get to the brain. There are many ways doctors are trying to at least slow down the process of a deteriorating CNS such as medication, deep brain stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, rehabilitation and spinal surgery.  Since the CNS is one of the most critical processes in the body, more than 2 trillion dollars is spent in the United States on manufacturing medicine for people with CNS disorders. These medications will not restore the CNS, but they will slow down the process of its deterioration.

The CNS is designed to respond to the environment around the body and can be extremely vulnerable to the significant changes and it. Even the slightest of things can change how the CNS works however if an infection or disease affects the CNS it can cause major change in how it operates. Infections like meningitis, polio are all infections that affect the CNS. When polio increases in the body it can slowly destroy the nerve cells which start skeletal muscles. Nerves cells cannot regenerate therefore, the muscles are affected due to their lose of function. 

The CNS disease is a wide variety of diseases that can affect the function of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. The condition can be conceived by infections, strokes, brain tumours and degenerative conditions. Parkinson disease, dystonia, essential tremor, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy are some of the diseases that can occur to the central nervous system. Most of the diseases that can affect the CNS cannot be cured but are being researched to find better treatment options.  These conditions can be life threatening, such as Parkinson’s disease. The disease itself cannot kill you however, as you age the disease can spread further into the CNS affecting every bodily function that occurs on a day-to-day basis. Parkinson’s may bring on death when you fall, or you have pneumonia. Pneumonia is when food can go down the “wrong way” and Parkinson’s affects the person to not be as strong as they usually were so they cannot cough up the food and eventually lead on to choking to death.

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