Diseases of the Nervous System

The Central and Peripheral nervous system consists of three parts: the brain and the spinal cord-often spoken of together as the central nervous system; the nerves which proceed from the brain and spinal cord-forty-three in number on each side-named the cerebrospinal or peripheral nerves; the third part consisting of a number of ganglia-containing nerve cells, which are profusely connected by plexuses of nerve fibres, and are situated in the neck, thorax, and abdomen. The part is known as the autonomic nervous system.

The nerve cells originate or receive impulses and impressions of various sorts, which are conveyed by them to the muscles, blood-vessels, and so on, by efferent nerves, or received by them through afferent nerves coming from the skin, organs of sense, joints, and other parts of the body. The autonomic nervous system is concerned mainly with the movement and other functions of the internal organs, secreting glands, and blood vessels, the activities of which proceed independently of the will. In a sense, the autonomic nervous system is the controller of all bodily functions.

Nervous diseases are some of the most difficult diseases in so far as their diagnosis and treatment are concerned. The brain and the spinal cord are enclosed in the skull and the spine, beyond the reach of direct examination. Since the nerves everywhere are deeply buried in the tissues, the nature of nervous diseases must be made out from the disturbances of the organs governed by the affected nerves

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