The central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) communicate with the peripheral nervous system using nerves that flow out from the spine and cranium. Neurons run along two main tracks in the body: the efferent (motor) division which flows from the brain to the appendages, and the afferent (sensory) division which flows from the extremities to the brain. The sympathetic nervous system triggers the rest and digest response and helps people relax in safe situations. The parasympathetic nervous system takes over in threatening situations and causes a fight or flight response. Reflexes ae automatic responses to stimuli and can be innate, acquired, somatic, visceral, monosynaptic, polysynaptic, cranial, or spinal. This lecture also explains the structure of nerves and the spinal cord as well as disorders and conditions.
Lumbar punctures involve the withdrawal of CSF and epidural blocks involves the injection of anesthesia
Some spinal cord conditions/disorders are meningitis, shingles, nerve palsies, and multiple sclerosis
***NOTE: Slide 2’s graphic has a typo on the bottom; it should read “Autonomic nervous system” and “Somatic nervous system”, instead of “sytem”
Did you know…
Q: How does someone break his or her neck without becoming a paraplegic?
A: If you fracture cervical vertebrae without them puncturing or shredding neural tissue within, then the injury will not lead to permanent motor/sensory damage. When a person has likely fractured their spine in an incident, emergency personnel (EMTs/paramedics) stabilize the neck with a brace and put the person on a backboard so that they don’t do worse damage to the spine region and cause paralysis.
Nervous System Part 3: Spinal Cord & Nerves
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.
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