According to human anatomy, brain is the control centre of the body. It is at the centre of the nervous system. The nervous system contains specialised cells known as neurons. The basic function of the nervous system is to send signals from one cell to others and from one part of the body to other parts of the body. As a matter of fact, brain is composed of about 100 billion nerve cells or neurons. The brain controls the other organ system of the body by activating muscles or by causing secretion of chemicals such as hormones and neurotransmitters. A fine chemical balance exists in terms of the levels of these neurons or neurotransmitters in the brain, and any shift in balance can cause unusual psychological functions such as mood swings or depression, memory loss.
The nervous system can be seen as comprising two parts:
- the central nervous system
- the peripheral nervous system – all other nerves throughout the body
The brain has three basic divisions:
- Cerebrum – made up of left and right hemispheres.
- Brain-stem – connects the cerebral hemispheres to the spinal cord. It controls the automatic functions of the body viz. breathing and heart rate.
- Cerebellum – a large, flat, tree-shaped area at the back of the brain stem, which controls and regulates movement.
The most common neurological disorders are:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Cerebral Palsy
- Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder
- Multiple sclerosis
Brain, nerves and spinal cord together control all the functions of the body. The bones of the skull and the vertebrae do a good job of protecting the brain and spinal cord. The cerebro-spinal fluid around the brain and spinal cord provides lubrication and cushioning to these important parts of the body. However, there are chances that infectious micro-organisms can invade the nervous system. Also, if one of the parts of the nervous system is damaged or injured, there may be a function or various functions in your body that may be hampered. These may include speaking, breathing, learning, swallowing or movement. You may also suffer from memory loss, mood swings or depression.
Neurological disorders can threaten a person’s independence. Lack of physical movement may make the person totally dependent, which can lead to depression. Common symptoms related to the nervous system include lack of coordination, poor balance in walking or movement and trouble in communication.
Treatments for neurological disorders work to minimise these symptoms. Treatment for nervous system disorders come in many forms:
- Physical therapy or physiotherapy helps to tone the muscles and strengthen them.
- Speech therapy may help in better communication
Thus, these treatments for neurological disorders may increase a person’s ability to be independent, reducing the risk of depression.