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Nervous System Health

Nervous System Health

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This lesson will introduce several disorders of the nervous system and will investigate their cause and effect on the brain.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to today’s lesson on the health of the nervous system. In this lesson today, you will be learning about various disorders of the nervous system. So some disorders of the nervous system can be more serious than others, and the causes of disorders of the nervous system can vary quite a bit. So in this lesson, specifically, you’ll be looking at disorders caused by:

  1. Physical Injury
  2. Breakdown of Neurons
  3. Infections
  4. Other Disorders

1. Physical Injury

These disorders can be caused by some sort of physical injury or trauma:

Seizures:

So seizures are a brain disorder that can be caused by trauma from an injury or from birth, but there are also some other causes that can cause seizures as well.

Term to Know

  • Seizure
  • Sudden, involuntary movement caused by erratic uncoordinated discharges by the brain.

Some cases may be inherited. A disease like epilepsy, for example, can cause seizures as well. So basically with seizures, the electrical activity in the brain becomes very chaotic, and nervous system signals aren't sent properly. So that can lead to seizures.

Concussions:

Concussions are another type of disorder that are caused by physical injury, and they're actually the most common brain injury. Oftentimes they're caused by some sort of sports injury.

Term to Know

  • Concussion
  • A type of brain injury where it is “shaken violently”; can cause disruption of neuron activity and should be monitored closely. There are different levels of concussions that can occur.

Paralysis:

Paralysis is a type of injury where there's damage to the spinal cord. This kind of injury can lead to limbs or other body parts not functioning correctly, because sometimes that nerve channel is disrupted.

Term to Know

  • Paralysis
  • Complete loss of voluntary function.

Did You Know

Some research is actually being done now using stem cells to try and repair damaged to spinal cord, which would be a huge breakthrough for people who are suffering from paralysis.


2. Breakdown of Neurons

So, the breakdown of neurons can cause disorders such as Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease.

Terms to Know

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • A disease caused by degeneration of the midbrain (substantia nigra) that causes a marked inability of a person to relax their muscles.
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • A form of dementia caused by a slow degeneration of the cerebral cortex.

Parkinson’s Disease:

So Parkinson's disease happens when neurons, that are located in the thalamus of the brain, will die. When this happens, the neurotransmitters, norepinephrine and dopamine, are not being produced, which affects normal muscle function. This can be caused by various factors. It can be caused by head injury or sometimes being exposed to certain pesticides. So it's a disease that is debilitating, and is caused by neurons in the thalamus basically degenerating.

Alzheimer's Disease:

Alzheimer’s a disease that occurs from the degeneration of neurons and the buildup of amyloid proteins, which can lead to memory loss, or loss of intellectual functions. It's oftentimes associated with aging. As a person gets older, the degeneration of neurons happens more quickly. And so usually this is linked to some sort of genetics factor as well.


3. Infection

So multiple sclerosis, encephalitis, and meningitis are all caused by some sort of infection.

Terms to Know

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • A demyelinating disease that causes motor complications, loss of sensations, and have episodes often referred to as “flare-ups.”
  • Encephalitis
  • Swelling of the brain caused by infection.
  • Meningitis
  • Inflammation of the meninges; caused by a bacterial or viral infection.

Multiple Sclerosis:

This disease is a common disease of the nervous system among young adults. And it's an autoimmune disease that can be triggered by a viral infection. Basically what happens is that the myelin sheath, which covers a neuron, starts to deteriorate. When this happens, it causes nervous system signals not to be transmitted as efficiently as they would be normally. So these myelin sheath in the CNS are deteriorating, causing multiple sclerosis.

Encephalitis:

Encephalitis is another disease caused by an infection where, basically, this infection causes the brain to swell or to become inflamed. And viruses, like West Nile virus or herpes virus, are common viruses that can cause encephalitis.

Meningitis:

Meningitis is another disease caused by infection. Often this disease is fatal, and it's caused by a bacteria or viral infection. So what happens in this disease is that the meninges that cover the brain, you have three layers of mininges that cover your brain, those will swell up, because of this bacterial or viral infection, which is often fatal if it's not caught very quickly.


4. Other Disorders

Schizophrenia:

Schizophrenia is another disorder of the nervous system.

Term to Know

  • Schizophrenia
  • A psychotic disorder that causes delusions, hallucinations, incoherent speech, inappropriate /negative behavior.

Several factors actually go into schizophrenia, what can cause it. Things like changes to the brain can trigger this disorder. Basically, with schizophrenia, a person becomes very paranoid, and might have auditory hallucinations, and they have social issues. So it's a mental disorder in which a person's social life is affected, because they have these paranoid and hallucination disorders.

Autism:

Autism is a developmental disorder common in children, as it shows up usually in childhood.

Term to Know

  • Autism
  • A class of social disorders in which people have a hard time forming normal social relationships and display repetitive behavior.

In this type of disorder, there's a wide spectrum of how a person who has autism can be affected. Some don't show as much of an effect as others do, and some can be affected very, very severely by this disorder. But it affects thinking, language, and social skills.


What's Covered

So this lesson has been an overview on disorders of the nervous system. Specifically, you learned about disorders caused by physical injury, breakdown of neurons, infections, and other disorders like schizophrenia and autism.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Concussion

    A type of brain injury where it is “shaken violently”; can cause disruption of neuron activity and should be monitored closely. There are different levels of concussions that can occur.

  • Paralysis

    Complete loss of voluntary function.

  • Seizure

    Sudden, involuntary movement caused by erratic uncoordinated discharges by the brain.

  • Parkinson’s disease

    A disease caused by degeneration of the midbrain (substantia nigra) that causes a marked inability of a person to relax their muscles.

  • Alzheimer’s disease

    A form of dementia caused by a slow degeneration of the cerebral cortex.

  • Meningitis

    Inflammation of the meninges; caused by a bacterial or viral infection.

  • Encephalitis

    Swelling of the brain caused by infection.

  • Multiple sclerosis

    A demyelinating disease that causes motor complications, loss of sensations, and have episodes often referred to as “flare-ups.”

  • Autism

    A class of social disorders in which people have a hard time forming normal social relationships and display repetitive behavior.

  • Schizophrenia

    A psychotic disorder that causes delusions, hallucinations, incoherent speech, inappropriate /negative behavior.