Function and Diseases of the Nervous System——Maintaining good health

Disease and function of the nervous system

Sensing and acting

The sensory neurons gather input information such as temperature, body position, pain, light, hunger itch and anything that affects the five senses. This information is then transmitted through the nerves to the brain where the information is interpreted. This processing means interpreting what to do with the information. When the brain decides what action should be taken a signal is sent through the nerves to generate action such as contraction of a muscle when your hand touches a hot surface.

Control of all bodily processes

The nervous system not only control sensing and acting, but it also controls all processes in the body. It stimulates the involuntary movement of muscles such as the beating of the heart and controls the bowels. It can stimulate tissues to produce hormones and enzymes

Movement and emotion

The nervous system allows you to move your body through voluntary control of the muscles. The brain which is part of the nervous system is of course extremely important in generating emotions, allowing you to enjoy, love, be angry and sad. The brain enables learning, memorizing, thinking, dreaming, control of behavior and many more.

Peripheral nervous system

The cranial nerves consist of 12 pairs of nerves that pass through small holes at the base of the skull. These nerves carry information and connecting the brain to different parts of the body.

Olfactory Nerve

The olfactory nerve is the shortest pair of cranial nerve and it is the sensory that transmits olfactory (smell) from the nose to the brain.

Optic Nerve

The optic pair of nerves is responsible for conducting visual stimuli from the eye to the brain. It takes the information of the photoreceptors( a receptor that is sensitive to light) to the brain, where later it will be integrated and interpreted. It emerges in the diencephalon.(function)

Oculomotor Nerve

This pair of nerves controls the movement of the eyes and is also responsible for the size of the pupil and it originates in the midbrain.

Trochlear Nerve

The Trochlear (The nerve that controls the superior oblique muscle of the eye, one of the muscles that move the eye (extraocular muscles). This nerve has a motor and somatic functions that are connected to the superior oblique muscle of the eye, being able to make the eyeballs move and rotate. Its nucleus also originates in the mesencephalon (midbrain) as well as the oculomotor nerve.

Trigeminal Nerve

This pair of nerves is the largest of the cranial nerves and its function is to carry sensitive information to the face, to convey information for the chewing process. The sensory fibers convey sensations of touch, it control (sensitive, sensory and motor), The sensory fibers convey sensations of touch, pain, and temperature from the front of the head including the mouth and also from the meninges.( The three membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord)

What is the nervous system?

Abducent

It is also known as the external ocular motor cranial nerves It is a cranial motor pair, responsible for transmitting the motor stimuli to the external rectus muscle of the eye and therefore allowing the eye to move to the opposite side from where we have the nose.

Facial or Intermediate

This pair of cranial nerves consist of several nerve fibers that perform different functions, it allows the facial muscles to create facial expressions and also send signals to the salivary and lachrymal (tear) glands., it also collects taste information through the tongue.

vestibulocochlear Nerve

This sensory cranial nerve is known as the auditory and vestibular nerve, forming the vestibulocochlear. Which is responsible for balance and orientation in space and auditory function.

Glossopharyngeal Nerve

This nerve collects information from the taste buds (tongue) and sensory information from the pharynx. It gives orders to the salivary gland and various neck muscles that help with swallowing. This nerve also monitors blood pressure.

Vagus Nerve

This nerve is also known as pneumogastric. It comes from the medulla oblongata( the continuation of the spinal cord within the skull, forming the lowest part of the brain stem and containing control centers for the heart and lungs).and supplies nerves to the pharynx, esophagus, larynx, trachea, bronchi, heart, stomach and liver., it controls the action of swallowing and also in sending and transmitting signals to our autonomous system, to help and regulate activation and control stress levels.

Accessory Nerve

This nerve is called the spinal nerve. It is a motor nerve. It governs movements of the head and shoulders by supplying the sternocleidomastoid ( neck muscle) and trapezius muscles in the (anterior and posterior) regions of the neck(used to tilt and turn the head and neck, shrug, steady the shoulders, and twist the arms). The spinal nerve also allows us to throw our heads back.

Hypoglossal

This pair of nerves is a motor nerve and is involved in swallowing and speech.

The nervous system organizes, explains, and directs interactions between you and the world around you it is a complex, highly specialized network it affects every aspect of our bodily functions and as you can imagine there is also a great amount of disease that can affect this complex system I will list them and then we will look at the most common ones.

Parkinson disease

Parkinson’s disease is not curable but if caught early medication can be given that can slow down the damage of the cells. Parkinson disease is a progressive disease that affects movement, speech and also causes tremors, especially in the hands.

People may also have stiffness in their limbs and joints and because of this, they move slower than usual. The muscles of the affected person also become much weaker and this may cause their posture may assume a stooping position.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease can be managed by medications and therapy.

Multiple sclerosis

At the moment there is no cure for multiple sclerosis but research is ongoing and hopefully, there will be a cure found soon.  Multiple sclerosis is often a disabling disease of the central nervous system There are many symptoms associated with ms they range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis.

The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot as yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are continuing.

The typical symptoms of MS

The severity of the disease cannot be predicted and varies from person to person one person may have a vision problem and another may have attention and memory issues. At times some symptoms could disappear completely and the person regains lost functions and in another case, the person could have partial or complete paralysis. MS usually affects persons between the ages of 20-50 and affects women more than men at a 2-1 average.

What causes these symptoms?

Ms occurs when the nerve fibers become damaged due to inflammation and break down of the protective insulation surrounding the nerve fibers of the CNS. The fibers are In a whitish insulating sheath which is made up of a mixture of proteins and phospholipids forming around many nerve fibers this sheath is called Myelin, The nerve fibers themselves are also damaged. and the Myelin is destroyed and replaced by scars of hardened patches of tissue. these harden lesions are called plaques and appear in many places within the central nervous system.

The average lifespan of an MS patient

A person with MS may live an average of about seven years less than the general population. however disease complications or other medical conditions like heart condition and stroke which can contribute to life expectancy being shortened. With care and attention to overall health and wellness the reduction of these risk will be lessened There are rare cases of MS that progress rapidly from disease onset and can be fatal

Some information for this post is from the National MS Society

ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord the word amyotrophic comes from the Greek word which means no muscle nourishment or wastes away. This lack of nourishment to the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles causes the area to degenerates and this leads to scarring or hardening (“sclerosis”) in the region

The eventual loss of the motor neurons due to a progressive degeneration in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the brain no longer has the ability to initiate and control muscle movement and any voluntary muscle action is progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe.

The motor nerves that are affected when you have ALS is the motor neurons that provide voluntary movements and muscle control.

There is no cure or treatments that stop or reverse the effects of ALS and persons usually die 3 ½ years after being diagnosed

Some Information for this post is from the ALS Association.

Here is a link for some easy exercise and stretches for us boomers.

Thank you for reading this post should you have a question or a comment please leave it in the space provided at the end of this post, and please remember to like and share thank you.

http://healthybeautiful.info/health/chair-exercises-help-get-flatter-stomach/

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The Cause And Symptoms Of COPD.—–Maintaining Good Health

COPD The Cause And Symptoms.

There are many diseases that can affect us as we age, we have looked at some of them already you can check them out at my website healthandwellnessforboomers.com.

In today’s, blog post we are looking at COPD. (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

Wikipedia definition is (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a type of obstructive lung disease characterized by long-term breathing problems and poor airflow.

The main symptoms include shortness of breath and cough with sputum production. COPD is a progressive disease, meaning it typically worsens over time. Wikipedia

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Heart Health Information For Seniors——Make Healthy Choices

Heart Health Information For Seniors

Cardiovascular disease is responsible for almost half of all deaths by non-communicable diseases.

CVD is a name applied to a number of different diseases affecting the heart and blood vessels. Coronary heart disease is a type of CVD that occurs when blood supply to the heart is restricted or blocked (which can, in turn, lead to angina, heart attack, and heart failure).


What is the Heart

The human heart is an organ that pumps blood throughout the body via the circulatory system, supplying oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes.

“The tissues of the body need a constant supply of nutrition in order to be active,” said Dr. Lawrence Phillips, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. “If [the heart] is not able to supply blood to the organs and tissues, they’ll die.

In humans, the heart is roughly the size of a large fist and weighs between about 10 to 12 ounces (280 to 340 grams) in men and 8 to 10 ounces (230 to 280 grams) in women, according to Henry Gray’s “Anatomy of the Human Body.”

The physiology of the heart basically comes down to “structure, electricity, and plumbing,” Phillips told Live Science.

The human heart has four chambers: two upper chambers (the atria) and two lower ones (the ventricles), according to the National Institutes of Health. The right atrium and right ventricle together make up the “right heart,” and the left atrium and left ventricle make up the “left heart.” A wall of muscle called the septum separates the two sides of the heart.

The Heart Changes With Age

As we age the possibility of developing heart problems increases,

Older people tend to suffer a heart attack, have a stroke, or develop coronary heart disease (commonly called heart disease) and heart failure more than the younger people.

Heart disease can also cause disability, limiting the activity and eroding the quality of life of millions of older people.

A major cause of heart disease in the boomers is the buildup of fatty deposits in the walls of arteries. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to delay, lower, or possibly avoid or reverse the risk of fat deposits in the artery walls.

Increased stiffness of the large arteries, called arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries is the most common change due to aging.

Arteriosclerosis is the cause of high blood pressure, which becomes more common as we age.

Because there are several risk factors that cause atherosclerosis, it is not necessarily a normal part of aging.

The building up of plaque inside the walls of your arteries over time hardens and narrows your arteries, and this limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body.

Oxygen and blood nutrients are supplied to the heart muscle through the coronary arteries. The blockage of any of these arteries can cause a heart attack or damage to the muscle of the heart.

Plaque builds up in the coronary arteries, which reduces blood flow to your heart muscle. And if not corrected Over time, the heart muscle can become weakened and/or damaged, resulting in heart failure.

There are different things that can cause damage to the heart, alcohol abuse, diabetes high blood pressure and stand for long periods, in the case of long-standing it is best to wear compression socks or stocking and if you suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure keep them under control

There are age-related changes in the electrical system that can lead to a rapid, slowed, or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias) in this case a pacemaker may be needed to regulate the flow of blood

( see video below).  

      • The chambers of your heart may also increase in size and the heart wall becomes thick, so the amount of blood that a chamber can hold may decrease. The heart may fill more slowly, uncontrolled hypertension over a long period of time is the main cause of increased thickness of the heart wall, which can increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm problem in older people.

With increasing age, we may become more sensitive to salt, which may cause an increase in blood pressure and/or ankle or foot swelling (edema).

Other factors, such as thyroid disease or chemotherapy, may also weaken the heart muscle. And if heart disease is also present in your family history, this may increase your risk of heart disease.

Heart disease is caused when the coronary arteries that surround the outside of the heart and supply blood nutrients and oxygen to the heart muscle, are partially or blocked by plaque build-up inside the arteries.

The plaque build-up into the arteries causes less space for blood to flow normally and deliver oxygen to the heart. If the flow of blood to your heart is reduced by plaque buildup or is blocked, and if a plaque suddenly ruptures, it can cause angina (chest pain or discomfort) or a heart attack.

When the heart muscle does not get enough oxygen and blood nutrients, the heart muscle cells will die (heart attack) and weaken the heart, diminishing its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body.

According to Heart.org the signs of a heart attack are:

Signs Of Heart Attack 

Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes – or it may go away and then return. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort.

Other signs. Other possible signs include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light-headedness.

Prevent Heart Disease

There are many steps you can take to keep your heart healthy.

On the advice of your doctor, aim to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Every day is best. It doesn’t have to be done all at once.

Two older women walking in a park for exercise

Start by doing activities you enjoy—brisk walking, dancing, bowling, bicycling, or gardening, for example. Avoid spending hours every day sitting.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. Smoking adds to the damage to the artery walls. It’s never too late to get some benefit from quitting smoking.

Eat healthily, the dash diet is highly recommended by cardiologists,   (The DASH diet is a dietary pattern promoted by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to prevent and control hypertension. The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods; includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and beans; and is limited in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats. Wikipedia )

Keep a healthy weight. Balancing the calories you eat and drink with the calories burned by being physically active helps to maintain a healthy weight.

Keep your diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol under control. Follow your doctor’s advice to manage these conditions, and take medications as directed.

Limit stress, in today’s life there is a lot of stress, and unfortunately, it is easy to become overwhelmed by stress

But we can manage stress, like exercise, deep breathing, relaxing your muscles by stretching, take a break, slow down take it easy.

Thank you for reading this post, hope you found then information helpful, please remember to share and you can leave your questions and comment in the space provided at the end of this post.

NOTE:  This post includes affiliate links, which, if clicked on and a product purchased, I get a small commission (with no increase in cost to you).

Peripheral Artery Disease What is it and how to prevent it

What is Peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.)

According to Wikipedia Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is an abnormal narrowing of arteries other than those that supply the heart or brain.

The narrowing is caused by plaque building up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs.

Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood.

When the build-up plaque in the body’s arteries, this condition is called atherosclerosis. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries.

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What is Alzheimer’s Disease And what is its effect on us

What is Alzheimer's disease
What is Alzheimer s Disease and what are its effects on us

According to Wikipedia Alzheimer’s disease (AD), also referred to simply as Alzheimer’s, is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and gradually worsens

A broader description is giving in Healthline online magazine. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia. Dementia is a broader term for conditions caused by brain injuries or diseases that negatively affect memory, thinking, and behavior. These changes interfere with daily living.

While there is no known cure for this disease there are treatments that can slow its progression.

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When Do You Know Its Time For Assisted living ( If These Signs Are Present, It’s Time)

If these signs are present its time for assisted living.
When do you know its time for assisted living

Do you have loved ones that you are caring for and you are beginning to feel burnt out and stressed or is providing care is more than you can handle, then maybe it’s time to consider an assisted living facility.

What is assisted living?

Assisted living is a facility that provides seniors with assistance while allowing them to maintain as much privacy and independence as possible.

There are different names that are used to describe assisted living facility it can be described as an assisted living residence or assisted living community.

But whatever its called these facilities provides care and assistance with their daily task like assisting to bathe, dress, a reminder to take medications and whatever ADL they may need.

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Health And Wellness For Active Boomer

Wikipedia’s definition of wellness is

Well-being, well being, or wellness is the condition of an individual or group. A high level of well-being means that in some sense the individual’s or group’s condition is positive.

Wellness refers to diverse and interconnected dimensions of physical, mental, and social well-being that extend beyond the traditional definition of health. It includes choices and activities aimed at achieving physical vitality, mental alacrity, social satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, and personal fulfillment

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