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ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY

THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM The Central Nervous System (CNS) is composed of the brain and spinal cord. The CNS is surrounded by bone-skull and vertebrae. Fluid and tissue also insulate the brain and spinal cord. During embryonic development, the brain first forms as a tube, the anterior end of which enlarges into three hollow swellings that form the brain, and the posterior of which develops into the spinal cord. Anatomy of the CNS Brain When a message comes into the brain from anywhere in the body, the brain tells the body how to react. For example, if you accidentally touch a hot stove, the nerves in your skin shoot a message of pain to your brain. The brain then sends a message back telling the muscles in your hand to pull away. Luckily, this neurological relayrace takes a lot less time than it just took to read about it. Considering everything it does, the human brain is incredibly compact, weighing just 3 pounds. Its many folds and grooves, though, provide it with the additional surface area necessary for storing all of the bodys important information. The four main regions of the brain are: Cerebral hemispheres Diencephalon Brain stem Cerebellum

Cerebral Hemispheres The paired cerebral hemispheres are the most superior part of the brain and are collectively called the cerebrum. 1. Gyri or gyrus (singular) elevated ridges of tissue found on the entire surface of the cerebral hemisphere. 2. Sulci or sulcus (singular) shallow grooves that separates the gyri. 3. Fissures deeper groves which separates the larger regions of the brain. The cerebral hemispheres are separated by a single deep fissure called the LONGITUDINAL FISSURE. The cerebrum, the largest part of the human brain, is divided into left and right hemispheres connected to each other by the corpus callosum. The hemispheres are covered by a thin layer of gray matter known as the cerebral cortex, the most recently evolved region of the vertebrate brain. The cortex in each hemisphere of the cerebrum is between 1 and 4 mm thick. Folds divide the cortex into four lobes: occipital, frontal, parietal and temporal. No region of the brain functions alone, although major functions of various parts of the lobes have been determined.

The occipital lobe (back of the head) receives and processes visual information. The temporal lobe receives auditory signals, processing language and the meaning of words. The parietal lobe is associated with the sensory cortex and processes information about touch, taste, pressure, pain, and heat and cold. The frontal lobe conducts three functions: 1. motor activity and integration of muscle activity 2. speech 3. thought processes Language comprehension is found in Wernickes area. Speaking ability is in Brocas area. Damage to Brocas area causes speech impairment but not impairment of language comprehension. Lesions in Wernickes area impair ability to comprehend written and spoken words but not speech. The remaining parts of the cortex are associated with higher thought processes, planning, memory, personality and other human activities. Diencephalon The diencephalon or interbrain sits atop the brainstem and is enclosed by the cerebral hemispheres. The major structures of the diencephalon are: 1. Thalamus The thalamus is a relay station for sensory impulses passing upward the sensory cortex. 2. Hypothalamus Plays a role in body temperature regulation, water balance and metabolism. It is also the center for many drives and emotion such as thirst, appetite, sex, pain and pleasure. Aside from that, the hypothalamus regulates the pituitary gland and produces two hormones of its own. 3. Epithalamus The epithalamus contains the pineal body and the choroid plexuses. The choroid plexuses form the cerebrospinal fluid. Brain Stem The brain stem is about the size of a thumb in diameter and is approximately 3 inches long. It provides a pathway for ascending and descending tracts. The structures of the brain stem are: 1. Midbrain The midbrain, located underneath the middle of the forebrain, acts as a master coordinator for all the messages going in and out of the brain to the spinal cord. It is composed primarily of two bulging fiber tracts called the cerebral peduncles, which convey ascending and descending impulses. 2. Pons the pons have an important nuclei in the control of breathing. 3. Medulla oblongata most inferior part of the brain stem. It contains many nuclei that regulate vital visceral activities. The medulla oblongata contains centers that control heart rate, BO, breathing, swallowing, vomiting and others. 4. Reticular Formation the neurons of the reticular formation are involved in the motor control of the visceral organs. A special group of reticular formation neurons, the reticular activating system (RAS) plays a role in consciousness and the awake/sleep cycles.

Cerebellum The cerebellum is the third part of the hindbrain, but it is not considered part of the brain stem. Functions of the cerebellum include fine motor coordination and body movement, posture, and balance. This region of the brain is enlarged in birds and controls muscle action needed for flight. Spinal Cord The spinal cord runs along the dorsal side of the body and links the brain to the rest of the body. Vertebrates have their spinal cords encased in a series of (usually) bony vertebrae that comprise the vertebral column. The gray matter of the spinal cord consists mostly of cell bodies and dendrites. The surrounding white matter is made up of bundles of interneuronal axons (tracts). Some tracts are ascending (carrying messages to the brain), others are descending (carrying messages from the brain). The spinal cord is also involved in reflexes that do not immediately involve the brain. Nerves divide many times as they leave the spinal cord so that they may reach all parts of the body. The thickest nerve is 1 inch thick and the thinnest is thinner than a human hair. Each nerve is a bundle of hundreds or thousands of neurons (nerve cells). The spinal cord runs down a tunnel of holes in your backbone or spine. The bones protect it from damage. The cord is a thick bundle of nerves, connecting your brain to the rest of your body. Peripheral Nervous System The Peripheral Nervous System contains only nerves and connects the brain and spinal cord (CNS) to the rest of the body. The axons and dendrites are surrounded by a white myelin sheath. Cell bodies are in the central nervous system (CNS) or ganglia. Ganglia are collections of nerve cell bodies. Cranial nerves in the PNS take impulses to and from the brain (CNS). Spinal nerves take impulses to and away from the spinal cord. There are two major subdivisions of the PNS motor pathways: the somatic and the autonomic. Two main components of the PNS: 1. sensory (afferent) pathways that provide input from the body into the CNS. 2. motor (efferent) pathways that carry signals to muscles and glands (effectors). Most sensory input carried in the PNS remains below the level of conscious awareness. Input that does reach the conscious level contributes to perception of our external environment. Autonomic Nervous System

The Autonomic Nervous System is that part of PNS consisting of motor neurons that control internal organs. It has two subsystems. The autonomic system controls muscles in the heart, the smooth muscle in internal organs such as the intestine, bladder, and uterus. TheSympathetic Nervous System is involved in the fight or flight response. The Parasympathetic Nervous System is involved in relaxation. Each of these subsystems operates in the reverse of the other (antagonism). Both systems innervate the same organs and act in opposition to maintain homeostasis. For example: when you are scared the sympathetic system causes your heart to beat faster; the parasympathetic system reverses this effect. Motor neurons in this system do not reach their targets directly (as do those in the somatic system) but rather connect to a secondary motor neuron which in turn innervates the target organ. Somatic Nervous System The Somatic Nervous System (SNS) includes all nerves the muscular system and external sensory receptors. External sense organs (including skin) are receptors. Muscle fibers and gland cells are effectors. The reflex arc is an automatic, involuntary reaction to a stimulus. When the doctor taps your knee with the rubber hammer, she/he is testing your reflex (or knee-jerk). The reaction to the stimulus is involuntary, with the CNS being informed but not consciously controlling the response. Examples of reflex arcs include balance, the blinking reflex, and the stretch reflex. Sensory input from the PNS is processed by the CNS and responses are sent by the PNS from the CNS to the organs of the body. Motor neurons of the somatic system are distinct from those of the autonomic system. Inhibitory signals, cannot be sent through the motor neurons of the somatic system.

Human cardiovascular system The main components of the human cardiovascular system are the heart, the veins, and the blood vessels.[3] It includes: the pulmonary circulation, a "loop" through the lungs where blood is oxygenated; and the systemic circulation, a "loop" through the rest of the body to provide oxygenated blood. An average adult contains five to six quarts (roughly 4.7 to 5.7 liters) of blood, which consists of plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Also, the digestive system works with the circulatory system to provide the nutrients the system needs to keep the heart pumping. Pulmonary circulation The Pulmonary circulation is the portion of the cardiovascular system which transports oxygen-depleted blood away from the heart, to the lungs, and returns oxygenated blood back to the heart.

Oxygen deprived blood from the vena cava enters the right atrium of the heart and flows through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle, from which it is pumped through the pulmonary semilunar valve into the pulmonary arteries which go to the lungs. Pulmonary veins return the now oxygen-rich blood to the heart, where it enters the left atrium before flowing through the mitral valve into the left ventricle. Then, oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle is pumped out via the aorta, and on to the rest of the body. Systemic circulation Systemic circulation is the portion of the cardiovascular system which transports oxygenated blood away from the heart, to the rest of the body, and returns oxygendepleted blood back to the heart. Systemic circulation is, distance-wise, much longer than pulmonary circulation, transporting blood to every part of the body. Coronary circulation The coronary circulatory system provides a blood supply to the heart. As it provides oxygenated blood to the heart, it is by definition a part of the systemic circulatory system. Heart The heart pumps oxygenated blood to the body and deoxygenated blood to the lungs. In the human heart there is one atrium and one ventricle for each circulation, and with both a systemic and a pulmonary circulation there are four chambers in total: left atrium, left ventricle, right atrium and right ventricle. The right atrium is the upper chamber of the right side of the heart. The blood that is returned to the right atrium is deoxygenated (poor in oxygen) and passed into the right ventricle to be pumped through the pulmonary artery to the lungs for re-oxygenation and removal of carbon dioxide. The left atrium receives newly oxygenated blood from the lungs as well as the pulmonary vein which is passed into the strong left ventricle to be pumped through the aorta to the different organs of the body. Closed cardiovascular system The cardiovascular systems of humans are closed, meaning that the blood never leaves the network of blood vessels. In contrast, oxygen and nutrients diffuse across the blood vessel layers and enters interstitial fluid, which carries oxygen and nutrients to the target cells, and carbon dioxide and wastes in the opposite direction. The other component of the circulatory system, the lymphatic system, is not closed. Oxygen transportation About 98.5% of the oxygen in a sample of arterial blood in a healthy human breathing air at sea-level pressure is chemically combined with hemoglobin molecules. About 1.5% is physically dissolved in the other blood liquids and not connected to hemoglobin.

The hemoglobin molecule is the primary transporter of oxygen in mammals and many other species.