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Assess Prof. Fawzia Al-Rouq Department of Physiology College of Medicine King Saud University Functional Anatomy of the Nervous System.

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Presentation on theme: "Assess Prof. Fawzia Al-Rouq Department of Physiology College of Medicine King Saud University Functional Anatomy of the Nervous System."— Presentation transcript:

1 Assess Prof. Fawzia Al-Rouq Department of Physiology College of Medicine King Saud University Functional Anatomy of the Nervous System

2 The Nervous System A network of billions of nerve cells linked together in a highly organized fashion to form the rapid control center of the body. Functions include: –Integrating center for homeostasis, movement, and almost all other body functions. –The mysterious source of those traits that we think of as setting humans apart from animals

3 Organization of the Nervous System 2 big initial divisions: 1.Central Nervous System The brain + the spinal cord –The center of integration and control 2.Peripheral Nervous System The nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord Consists of: –31 Spinal nerves »Carry info to and from the spinal cord –12 Cranial nerves »Carry info to and from the brain

4 Brain Regions 1.Cerebrum 2.Diencephalon 3.Brainstem 4.Cerebellum Cerebellum

5 Diencephalon Forms the central core of the forebrain 3 paired structures: 1.Thalamus 2.Hypothalam us 3.Epithalamus All 3 are gray matter


7 Performance of normal voluntary movement, the integrity of two sets of neurons is important Upper motor neurones Neurons originating in the cerebral cortex and the brain stem Synapse directly or indirectly with the anterior horn cells or with the motor neurones of the cranial nerves Grouped into pyramidal and extrapyramidal systems Lower motor neurones Motor cranial nuclei and their axons, i.e. motor fibres of the cranial nerves (3 rd, 4 th, 5 th, 6 th, 7 th, 9 th, 10 th, 11 th and 12 th ) In the spinal cord they include the anterior horn motor neurones and their axons, i.e. the motor nerves to skeletal muscles

8 Cerebral Cortex 3 types of functional areas: 1.Motor  Control voluntary motor functions 2.Sensory  Allow for conscious recognition of stimuli 3.Association  Integration

9 Basic Functions of the Nervous System 1.Sensation Monitors changes/events occurring in and outside the body. Such changes are known as stimuli and the cells that monitor them are receptors. 2.Integration The parallel processing and interpretation of sensory information to determine the appropriate response 3.Reaction Motor output. –The activation of muscles or glands (typically via the release of neurotransmitters (NTs))

10 Nervous vs. Endocrine System Similarities: –They both monitor stimuli and react so as to maintain homeostasis. Differences: –The NS is a rapid, fast-acting system whose effects do not always persevere. –The ES acts slower (via blood-borne chemical signals called H _ _ _ _ _ _ _) and its actions are usually much longer lasting.

11 Cortical Motor Areas 1.Primary Motor Cortex 2.Premotor Cortex 3.Broca’s Area 4.Frontal Eye Field

12 1.Primary motor cortex 3.Broca’s Area 2.Premotor cortex 4.Frontal Eye Field

13 Primary (Somatic) Motor Cortex Located in the precentral gyrus of each cerebral hemisphere. Contains large neurons (pyramidal cells) which project to SC neurons which eventually synapse on skeletal muscles –Allowing for voluntary motor control. –These pathways are known as the corticospinal tracts or pyramidal tracts.

14 Primary (Somatic) Motor Cortex Somatotopy –The entire body is represented spatially in the primary motor cortex, _ i.e., in one region we have neurons controlling hand movements and in another region leg movements, etc. What does it mean to say that motor innervation is contralateral?


16 Sensory Areas Found in the parietal, occipital, and temporal lobes. 1.Primary somatosensory cortex 2.Somatosensory association cortex 3.Visual areas 4.Auditory areas 5.Olfactory cortex 6.Gustatory cortex 7.Vestibular cortex

17 Primary Somatosensory Cortex Found in the postcentral gyrus. Neurons in this cortical area receive info from sensory neurons in the skin and from proprioceptors which monitor joint position. Contralateral input.


19 Somatosensory Association Cortex Found posterior to the primary somatosensory cortex and is neurally tied to it. Synthesizes multiple sensory inputs to create a complete comprehension of the object being felt. –How would damage to this area differ from damage to the primary somatosensory cortex ?


21 Basal Nuclei Info arrives at the caudate nucleus and the putamen from sensory, motor, and association areas of the cortex. Processing and integration occurs w/i the nuclei and then info is sent from the globus pallidus to the motor cortex via the thalamus. The basal nuclei alter motor commands issued by the cerebral cortex via this feedback loop.

22 Parkinson’s Disease Each side of the midbrain contains a nucleus called the substantia nigra. Neurons in the substantia nigra inhibit the activity of basal nuclei by releasing dopamine. Damage to SN neurons Decrease in dopamine secretion Increased activity of basal nuclei Gradual increase in muscle tone Appearance of symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: tremor, slow movement, inability to move, rigid gait, reduced facial expression




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