Nerve System

Facts & Functions

Nerves: the body’s “electrical wiring” consisting of cylindrical bundles of fibres starting at the brain and central cord, and branching out to every other part of the body. It is a complex collection of nerves and specialized cells (neurons) transmitting signals between different parts of the body.



Central nerve system –  the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

Peripheral nerve system containing sensory neurons, ganglia (clusters of neurons) and nerves that connect to one another and to the central nerve system. Neurons send signals to other cells through thin fibres which cause chemicals to be released at junctions called synapses. A synapse gives a command to the cell – and the entire communication process typically takes only a fraction of a millisecond.

Sensory neurons react to physical stimuli such as light, sound and touch. They send feedback to the central nerve system about the body’s surrounding environment.

Motor neurons located in the central nerve system transmit signals to activate muscles or glands.

Glial cells are specialized cells that support, protect or nourish nerve cells,



The nerve system has 2 main subdivisions:

Autonomic (involuntary) nerve system enables body processes such as blood pressure, breathing, blinking etc. to work without conscious effort.

Somatic (voluntary) nerve system consists of nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord with muscles and sensory receptors in the skin, enabling conscious movement.


As diseases of the nerve system are nerve-related, the most common symptom is pain.

Patients with nerve disorders experience functional difficulties, which result in conditions such as:

Epilepsy – in which abnormal electrical discharges from brain cells cause seizures.

Parkinson’s Disease – a progressive nerve disease that affects movement.

Multiple Sclerosis(MS) – in which the protective lining of the nerves is attacked by the body’s immune system.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis(ALS) – also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This motor neuron disease weakens the muscles and progressively hampers physical function.

Huntington’s Disease – a congenital condition that causes nerve cells in the brain to degenerate.

Alzheimer’s Disease – impacting mental functions, particularly memory.

The nerve system can also be affected by vascular disorders such as:

Stroke – when there is bleeding on the brain, or blood flow to the brain is obstructed.

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) – mini-type strokes that last a shorter period of time, but mimic stroke symptoms.

Subarachnoid Haemorrhage – bleeding specifically in the space between the brain and its surrounding membrane, resulting from trauma or the rupturing of a weakened blood vessel.

Infections that may affect the nerve system

– Meningitis
– Encephalitis
– Polio
– Epidural Abscess

SoundWaves Health Clinic offers the great benefit of not using any chemical means of treatment, such as anti-inflammatory or pain medications, or implanted nerve stimulators and artificial devices.

The following material is assembled from various sources freely available. It is not intended as a comprehensive study of Anatomy, Biology, Endocrinology or any other medical field.