Human Nervous System

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The nervous system is our body’s command center. Rising from our brain, it regulates our movements, thoughts and natural responses to things happening around us. It also regulates systems and processes including digestion, breathing and puberty. Diseases, accidents, and the aging process can affect our nervous system.

What is the nervous system?

Our nervous system literally ‘dictates’ our life. It regulates our movements, thoughts and memories. It also makes us breathe, blush and blink!

The nervous system influences every aspect of human health. Our learning capacity and feelings are determined by it. It plays a key role in balance and coordination. It regulates our senses, including how we see, hear, taste, touch and feel. It determines our sleeping patterns and healing capacity as well.

The nervous system regulates our breathing patterns and response to stressful situations.It controls digestion and even has a say on how ‘hungry’ and ‘thirsty’ one feels.

Hence it is indeed the sophisticated command center of our body, which regulates our body’s systems and helps us in experiencing our surroundings.

Electrical signals are passed on by a network of nerves across cells, glands, and muscles throughout the body. The nerves receive information from our surroundings. Then they interpret the information and  decide our response. It’s nothing short of a huge information highway running inside our body.


Specialized cells called neurons are used by the nervous system for sending signals, or messages all across the body. The electrical signals move across our brain, skin, organs, glands and muscles.

The messages help us move our limbs and feel sensations, including pain. Our eyes, ears, tongue, nose and nerves inside our body obtain information from our environment. Then nerves carry those data to and from the human brain.

Neurons send a variety of signals. While motor neurons help us in moving our muscles, the sensory neurons receive information from our senses and send signals to our brain. Other types of neurons regulate normal body functions including breathing and shivering.


hns functions

There are basically two main parts for the nervous system . Each part contains billions of neurons. The special cells are responsible for receiving electrical signals and helping the body decide what to do.

The major parts of the nervous system are:


Central nervous system: The CNS comprises the brain and the spinal cord. The brain makes use of nerves for sending messages to the rest of our body. Every nerve has a protective outer layer, it is called the myelin. Myelin helps in insulating the nerve and also assists in getting through with the messages.

Peripheral nervous system: It is basically the nerves which branch out from CNS covering the whole body. The system helps in relaying information from the brain and spinal cord to organs, arms etc ..

The peripheral nervous system comprises the somatic nervous system that guides voluntary movements and the autonomic nervous system that controls activities you do without thinking much!

Conditions and disorders

Thousands of disorders can have an impact on your nerves. An injured nerve finds it difficult to send a message. Real damage can stop them from sending or receiving messages. A nerve injury can lead to numbness or cause pain.

Common causes of nerve damage include:

Disease: Infections, cancers, and diseases like diabetes and arthritis can affect the nervous system. Diabetes leads to diabetes-related neuropathy, the symptoms include tingling and pain in the legs and feet. Multiple sclerosis tends to attack the myelin around nerves in the CNS.

Stroke: It occurs when the brain’s blood vessels are blocked or suddenly bursts. The part of the brain dies without getting enough blood. It won’t be able to send messages via nerves.

Accidental injury: Nerves tend to get crushed or cut in an accident. Car crashes and falls are common injuries which can cause damage to the nerves.

Pressure: A nerve does not get enough blood to perform its tasks, If it is pinched or compressed. For example, as in the case of carpal tunnel syndrome, a tumor, or sciatica.

Toxic substancesChemotherapy medicines and illegal drugs can also cause nerve damage. Nerve damages are seen in people with kidney diseases. Their kidneys might find it difficult to filter out toxins.

Aging process: Neurons’ signals may not travel as fast as they used to as we get older. We may start feeling weaker, and our reflexes might slow down. Some people lose sensation in their fingers and toes and also in other parts of their body.

Common conditions

Some causes of nerve damage are more frequent than others. These include:

Diabetes: Diabetes-related neuropathy is caused due to the disorder of the endocrine system. Neuropathy of diabetes usually affects the arms, legs, and other parts of the body.

Lupus: Nerve damage occurs in people with lupus.

Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis, one of the most common forms of arthritis, also develops neuropathy.

Stroke: Stroke causes nerve damage. It often occurs in people over the age of 65.


Our nervous system is the command center of our whole body. It requires proper care. It is important to have a healthy diet, to avoid drugs, and drink alcohol in moderation.

Consult a doctor immediately if you are losing coordination or experience severe muscle weakness. Also visit the doctor if you have vision problems, numbness, tingling, tremors or problems with moving your muscles.

Check your knowledge

Answer) Central nervous system and Peripheral nervous system.

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