The Nervous and Endocrine Systems
By: Brandon Aguillon
The Nervous System
The nervous system serves as the body control center and communications electrical-chemical wiring network. The brain and spinal cord are the central nervous system (CNS); the connecting nerve processes to effect and receptors serve as the peripheral nervous system (PNS).
The cells that make up the nervous system are called neurons. Long, stringy neurons are perfect for carrying the electrical messages that are the "language" of the nervous system. One of the most important key items in the Nervous system is the Brain. The brain is made up of billions of neurons.
The brain is the control center of the human body. It responds to the senses you use in everyday life, and most importantly, it controls the entire body. If you lost connectivity from your brain to your entire body, you couldn't eat, breath, and your heart couldn't pump blood to the rest of your body. The senses it controls are taste, hear, sight, touch, and smell.
The spinal cord is a tube of neurons that runs up the spine and attaches to the brain stem. Information from nerves that branch out to the rest of the body goes to the spinal cord. Some messages are processed how the brain functions by the spinal cord but most information is sent to the brain.
A nerve is an enclosed, cable-like bundle of axons (the long, thin, projections of neurons) in the peripheral nervous system. A nerve provides a common pathway for the electro-chemical nerve impulses that are transmitted along each of the axons to peripheral organs.
The Endocrine System
The Endocrine System includes all of the glands of the body and the hormones produced by those glands. As the body's chemical messengers, hormones transfer information and instructions from one set of cells to another.
A hormone is a class of signaling molecules produced by glands in multi-cellular organisms
A gland is a group of cells that produces and secretes, or gives off, chemicals. Endocrine glands, on the other hand, release more than 20 major hormones directly into the bloodstream where they can be transported to cells in other parts of the body. Although we rarely think about the endocrine system, it influences almost every cell, organ, and function of our bodies. The endocrine system plays a role in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, metabolism, and sexual function and reproductive processes.
The Pituitary gland controls the entire endocrine system. The hypothalamus controls the hormones coming from the pituitary gland. The Pineal gland produces hormones used for sleep, aging, reproduction, and body temperature. The thyroid controls metabolism. The parathyroid controls the amount of calcium in your blood. Hormones in the ovaries/testes control reproduction hormones. The pancreas regulates blood sugar. The adrenal glands control adrenaline levels during dangerous situations.