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Taking Care of the Nervous System

A science class presentation detailing the importance of taking care of your nervous system.

Joshua Burns

on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of Taking Care of the Nervous System

Taking Care of The Nervous System Taking care of the nervous system is a vital part of life. Proper care can be accomplished through exercise, healthy sleep and eating patterns, and avoiding hazards like cigarettes and alcohol consumption. Another factor in taking care of the nervous system is external care, such as hearing. Listening to music louder than 90 decibels can cause serious hearing loss if listened to repeatedly for more than a short period. Failure to take care of the nervous system can result in permanent damage, disorders, and harmful disease. Physical harm to the nervous system can also cause permanent damage. Some of these diseases include tetanus, meningitis, poliomyelitis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease; while epilepsy, acute confusion, and dementia are examples of disorders of the nervous system. In this presentation, we will briefly look into several of these disorders, diseases, and causes of physical harm, and look into the consequences of alcohol consumption. Affects of Alcohol Alcohol is said to be one of the most commonly abused drugs in the world today, with estimated deaths due to alcohol up to 100,00 Americans each year. In addition to this, long-term effects include accelerated death of brain cells and a gradual but permanent decline in brain function. Other effects include neuritis (degeneration and inflammation of nerves), visual disturbances, and tremors; and lastly, it can cause chronic hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), pancreatis, kidney failure, heart disease, dementia, and certain types of cancer. Taken from Biology, God's Living Creation A Beka Book When first ingested, alcohol quickly spreads to every part of the body by entering the bloodstream in the stomach and small intestine. Upon reaching the brain, in interferes with specific neurotransmitter systems in the thought and motor areas of the cerebral cortex. Alcohol then acts as a depressant to the central nervous system, meaning that is slows down the functions of the neurons that it affects. It will cause a loss of inhibitions, or loss of self-control. The patient's behavior will become unpredictable when the alcohol is put into effect: the patient's judgement and reason will be impaired, his reactions will be slower, and eventually become emotionally unstable. When very large quantities are consumed, it can result in unconsciousness. After consumption, the liver is responsible for converting the alcohol in the in the patient into another poison, called acetaldehyde, which is the reason headaches and nausea ("hangover") follow alcohol consumption. The acetaldehyde is eventually removed by being changed into acetate and being "burned" in cellular respiration. This entire process of removing the alcohol from the blood-stream can take hours when only a few drinks are consumed. Alarming Facts about Alcohol Intake Alcohol is the most widely abused drug in the world. The average age of a person who starts drinking alcoholic beverages is about 12 years. Nearly a third of all suicides are alcohol related. There are perhaps 20 million alcoholics in the United States At least 100,000 alcohol-related deaths occur every year in the United States alone. Written by Joshua Burns, with images taken by other sources. Injuries, Diseases, and Disorders to the Nervous System A stroke, the most common serious injury of the nervous system, occurs when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain. Certain areas of the brain are then not supplied with blood. This can cause speech loss or paralysis depending on the location and severity of the damage. Injuries of the nervous system includes internal accidents such as strokes, and outward injures like a concussion. One of the many areas usually injured is the spinal cord, where a rupture of an intervertbral disk can cause the vertebrae to move closer together and pinch the spinal nerve that runs between them. Sciatica is caused when the sciatic nerve is pinched by the lower spinal cord, and it is characterized by pain in the lower back and the back of the thigh. Physical injury to the head is one of the most common causes of death among young adults. A concussion, which occurs when the head is hit hard enough, is a period of paralysis of the central nervous system with a short period of unconsciousness usually lasting only five minutes, and in rare cases ten minutes. Sometimes amnesia, or a loss of memory, occurs, but recovery from amnesia is soon recovered. These injuries can be repaired with rest of the body. A coma is a prolonged unconscious state that may not be reversible, and is a result of damage to the nervous system, particularly damage to the reticular formation or thalamus. Tetanus, or lockjaw, is a serious disease that is caused by a bacterium (clostridium tetani) that lives in soil. The bacteria can enter through a break in the skin or when dirt makes contact with a wound. Because of this, it can spread when a puncture from a thorn, rusty nail, or other dirt object happens, and the bacteria does not require oxygen to spread. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, headache, and difficulty in opening the mouth and swallowing. If not treated, tetanus can cause severe spasms of the jay muscles and eventual death. It can be treated with periodic immunization and cleaning all wounds thoroughly. Several diseases of the nervous system include meningitis, poliomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease. Here are some others to know: Senile dementia, the slow process of natural nerve cell loss, can cause acute confusion. This mental disorder is a disturbance of the brain caused by physical illness elsewhere in the body, and can become noticeable between ages 70 and 80. The dementia can cause the patient to forget many things, starting with recent memory and gradually going back until he forgets his relatives and even his own name. Dementia of any kind is a harmful disorder that occurs in old age and that can be avoided with proper exercise. Two types of dementia include arteriosclerotic and senile dementia. Both are similar in that when either occurs, the loss of nerve cells also occurs. But arteriosclerotic dementia is different from senile dementia. When arteriosclerotic dementia happens, the brain cells die; but it is different cells die because of blockage in the arteries restricts their blood supply. Alzheimer's disease can happen much earlier in life and can be more severe than dementia, though have the same symptoms of it. Patients of this disease become physically as well as intellectually disabled. Forgetfulness, loss of coordination, and continuous repetition of a word or gesture are common. The frontal and temporal lobes of the brain degenerate, eventually causing loss of the ability to speak, write, and walk. There is no present cure of Alzheimer's disease, but a cure may be discovered quickly (in three or four year) or slowly (as long as fifteen years). There are several medications that can slow the progression of the disease as well. A neurological disorder that affects all ages is epilepsy. In normal conditions, brain cells of the cerebral cortex fire in seemingly random patterns as they help process the normal thoughts and actions of life. When epilepsy happens, neurons malfunction and begin to fire together over and over, disrupting ordinary cerebral processing and causing unconsciousness. This firing may continue for several minutes, until the malfunctioning neurons tire and the brain is able to bring its cerebral processing centers back online. Epilepsy can be treated with the right medication. In Conclusion: Exercise Eat Healthy Take Care Of Yourself Get A Healthy Amount Of Rest Don't Get Old
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