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Introduction to Physiology of the Nervous System Dr Fawzia Alrouq Physiology Department, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Physiology of the Nervous System Dr Fawzia Alrouq Physiology Department, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Physiology of the Nervous System Dr Fawzia Alrouq Physiology Department, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh 1

2 Objectives  At the end of this lecture the student should : understand that the nervous system can be classified in more than one way, depending on the purpose of the study undertaken. appreciate that animal experiments are essential for advancement of knowledge about nervous system functions understand that, under strict ethical considerations, human studies are also carried out to understand neurophysiology. know that much of human physiology can be learned from observing the consequences of human lesions & diseases. be able to explain what is meant by telencephalon, diencephalon,brainstem, basal ganglia, cerebellum and spinal cord ; & outline their function. 2

3 Nervous system organization fig 6-37

4 Classification of the Nervous System The nervous system ( NS) can be classified in more than one way : (I) Central & Peripheral NS (A) Central Nervous System (CNS) : consisting of the brain and spinal cord, and (B) Peripheral Nervous System (PNS ) : Fibers outside the CNS (II) Sensory & Motor NS (A)Sensory : includes (i) sensory ( afferent ) fibers, ascending ( sensory ) pathways, & brain sensory centers (B) Motor : includes brain motor centers, descending (motor ) pathways & motor ( efferent ) fibers. (III) Somatic & Autonomic NS (A) Somatic ( Voluntary) Nervous System (B) Autonomic ( Inovluntary) Nervous System 4

5 Methods of Studying Physiology of the Nervous System 5

6 Understanding anatomy : Since very old times in the history of medicine, it was appreciated that understanding anatomy (what structures make up the human body & how arranged ) has been essential for understanding physiology ( how the body functions). Learning from animals : Making lesions or injecting chemicals in brain & then studying their effects onneuronal behavior & structure, & on animal behavior. Recording ( with or without stimulation ) of electrical activity from nerves, muscles, brain or spinal cord in animals. Learning from humans ( under strict ethical laws ) : Studying effects of lesions ( disease, trauma etc ) and chemicals ( drugs or toxins ; taken accidentally or administered intentionally) on human wellness, function and behavior. Recording spontaneous and evoked nerve activity, muscle electrical activity, and brain waves. Functional radiological metho ds 6

7 The Human Brain

8 Phineas Gage

9 In 1848 in Vermont, had a 3.5-foot-long, 13 lb. metal rod blown into his skull, through his brain, and out of the top of his head. Gage survived. In fact, he never even lost consciousness. Friends reported a complete change in his personality after the incident. He lost all impulse control.

10 The Human Brain Composed of wrinkled, pinkish gray tissue Surface anatomy includes cerebral hemispheres, cerebellum, and brain stem Ranges from 750 cc to 2100 cc Contains almost 98% of the body’s neural tissue Average weight ~3 lb 10 10 to 10 11 neurons Trillions of connections men = larger Women = better connected

11 Basic Pattern of the Central Nervous System Spinal Cord – Central cavity surrounded by a gray matter core – External to which is white matter composed of myelinated fiber tracts Brain – Similar to spinal cord but with additional areas of gray matter – Cerebellum has gray matter in nuclei – Cerebrum has nuclei and additional gray matter in the cortex Figure 12.4

12 Overview of the Brain 12

13 Components of The Brain A/ Telencephalon  (1) Cerebrum and (2) Basal Ganglia ( collection of grey matter situated inside the cerebral hemispheres ) B/ Diencephalon  Mainly : (1) Thalamus ( mainly a relay station for sensory pathways in their way to the cerebral cortex ) (2) Hypothalamus ( contains cesnter for autonomic and endocrine control ) 13 C/ Brainstem  (1) Midbrain (2) Pons (3) Medulla E/ Cerebellum

14 The Brainstem The term “ brainstem ” is actually an anatomic rather than physiologic term, because it is easier, in terms of anatomy, to group “ all CNS structures that hang between the cerebrum and spinal cord “ together. However, in terms of Physiology, the situation is more complicated, because brainstem structures are involved in many diverse & different bodily functions. 14  These functions include  (1) regulation of Consciousness, Wakefulness & Sleep,  (2) Respiratory, Cardiovascular and Gastrintestinal control,  (3) Balance ( Vestibular nuclei ).  (4) Moreover, it contain several Cranial Nerve nuclei.,

15 Cerebrum 15

16 The Cerebrum : Composed of 2 Cerebral Hemispheres, each of which controls functions on the opposite half of the body Each hemisphere is divided by big Sulci ( fissures ) into 4 lobe s : Parietal lobe Occipital lobe Temporal lobe Frontal lobe

17 Sulci that divide the cerebrum into lobes Central Sulcuds ( Rolandic Fissure ) : separaetes Parietal & Fontal lobes Lateral Sulcus ( Sylvian Fissure ) separates Parietal & Temporal Lobes Parieto-Occipital Sulcus : Separates Parietal and Occipital Lobes. Lobes are further divided by smaller Grooves into ridges called Gyri

18 Most people ( about 90 %) have the left cerebral hemisphere dominant, and are therefore right- handed. The remaining ( around 10 % ) of the population usually have their right hemisphere dominant, and are therefore left-handed. The frontal lobe of the dominant hemisphere contains Broca’s area (the area for production of speech ). Therefore, if a right-handed person gets a stroke involving his left cerebral hemisphere, he is likely to have right-sided hemiplegia ( paralysis ) and aphasia ( loss of the power of speech). 18

19 Occiptal Lobe Contains primary visual Cotrex + Visual AssociationCortex Disease : blindness 19

20 Parietal Lobe Contains  (1) Primary Somatosensory in the post-central gyrus  to receive general sensations from opposite ( contralateral ) half of the body (2) Sensory Association Cortex ( for integration & association of sensory information ) Parietal lobe is essential for our feeling of touch, warmth/heat, cold, pain, body position and appreciation of shapes of palpated objects. When damaged, the person loses the ability to recognize shapes of complex objects by palpation (palpation = examaination of objects by touch ). & develops Sensory Inattention on opposite side 20

21 Temporal Lobe (1) contain centers for hearing and taste, (2) contribute to smell perception. (3) essential for memory function. (4) lesion  may lead to memory impairment & can be associated with temporal lobe epilepsy 21

22 Frontal Lobe Responsible for initiation and execution of voluntary movement. Also contains Broca’s area of speech in the dominnat hemisphere ( i.e., in the left hemisphere in most people ). Lesion can cause  (1) paralysis on opposite side of the body, (2) aphasia ( loss of ability to speak ) if lesion involves Broca’s area in the dominant hemisphere ). 22

23 Basal Ganglia ( BG) Collection of grey matter situated inside the cerebral hemispheres. Lesions may cause a variety of conditions that affect movement e.g.  Parkinson’s disease  which is associated with rigidity of muscles & difficulty of movement. 23

24 Cerebellum Important for ccordination of body movements and balance. Diseases can result in inccordination of movement and ataxia. 24

25 The spinal cord is generally cylindrical in shape From it emerge 31 pairs of spinal nerves: 8 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral and 1 coccygeal. 25 Spinal Cord and Spinal Ner ves

26 The spinal arise from the spinal cord with dorsal and ventral roots. The dorsal root contains afferent ( sensory ) fibers The afferent fiber is usually a pseudobipolar cell whose cell-body ( soma) is located in the dorsal root ganglion ( DRG) The ventral root usually contains efferent ( motor ) fibers ( somatic or autonomic). The 2 roots unite at or close to the intervertebral foramen to form the spinal nerve. DRG Spinal Nerve

27 Spinal cord fig 6-41 Gray matter: cell bodies & synapses White matter: ascending & descending tracts Ventral root: efferent pathways Dorsal root: afferent pathways Dorsal root ganglion: cell bodies of afferent neurons

28 28 The spinal cord, beside carrying sensory ( ascending ) and motor ( descending ) tracts, Also contains the centers of Spinal Reflexes

29 Nervous system organization fig 6-37

30 Peripheral nervous system: efferent division fig 6-43 Somatic: single neuron, innervates skeletal muscle, voluntary control Autonomic: 2 neuron chain, innervates smooth, cardiac muscle, glands, largely involuntary control


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