Our body responds to impulses and messages, sent through the breadth of our anatomy and all this works thanks to the communication of our cells. They handle the information, transfer it and are even the reason for the execution order.

All that regulation and control that is exercised from a central nucleus constitutes a system, and that is the Central Nervous System or SNC.

In this article, we will know in depth the complex structure that coordinates the functioning of a person as a whole. And we will find the parts, functions and main disorders that can affect it.

What is the central nervous system?

The Central Nervous System is for Virtual Nurse , a complex network of structures whose mission is to control the functioning of the organs and other systems of the body, also coordinating their interrelation and the relationship of the organism with the external environment.

It is also the source of our emotions , thoughts and memories. They also allow adequate responses to stimuli and situations that we face on a daily basis to be executed.

Central nervous system functions

We have previously mentioned a clear idea of ​​the main functions of the CNS, but there is a breadth of actions that we take every day executed through this structure. We will describe the most relevant ones below, thus allowing us to understand it better.

Receive and emit stimuli to the body

Through the cells, tissues and structures of the CNS our body conducts stimuli that allow the functionality of our body.

In this sense, neurons are the cells defined as excitable and responsible for most of the tasks attributed to this system, and among them precisely the processing of this type of message.

Carry out mental processes

Through its components such as the brain and tissues, our body receives, stores and translates all the data provided by our senses to be used for mental processes such as reasoning, learning, language and memory, all of which are developed. within the complex structure of the CNS.

Control learning and knowledge

Neuroscience is precisely that discipline focused on the areas of knowledge and their approaches, understanding how brain activity is related to behavior and learning.

In fact, over time he has focused his research on understanding how millions of nerve cells, being individual, are in charge of producing knowledge and behavioral processes.

“Any changes in synaptic connections that cause differences in thought and behavior, which can be generated through theoretical information, practices or life experiences, are learning.”

Control ideas, thoughts and memories

In the Kids Health Blog they developed an article entitled ” Your brain and your nervous system “ , where they explain how the telencephalon, the thinking part of the brain, is the one that influences all the abilities and reasoning of the individual.

It is important to mention that the entire CNS is involved in the formation and storage of elements such as ideas, thoughts and memories. Especially in the complex circuits that mobilize all the information.

Control the digestive, cardiovascular and respiratory systems

The basic capacities of our organism are carried out by orders supplied by the CNS, being a group of cells that conduct the signals to control basic and motor functions.

It is also understood that the CNS is the great coordinator and motivator of each of the conscious and unconscious activities of our body. It performs a large number of functions, stimulates and satisfies them, even regulating the performance of each of the systems.

control body movement

All the muscular state and the elasticity of our body, is from the information that the CNS uses as a scheme for the correct performance of motility.

As we have mentioned, it transmits information and that is what transfers activation orders to muscles and joints for the production of movements and adequate responses.

Regulate sleep and wakefulness

The Reticular Activating System (SAR) is the part of the brain involved with the coordination and regulation of sleep periods. They are like everything in the CNS, a large number of cells responsible for this vital function.

Together with the neurons, they produce the signal to decrease their activity and reduce mental alertness. It is a continuous and indispensable interaction, which includes elements such as the thalamus, the spinal cord, the pineal gland, the raphe nuclei, the basal forebrain, the hippocampus, and the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN).

Parts of the central nervous system

In its complex system with connective anatomy, there are different elements among which tissues and organs enter to understand the Central Nervous System. Next, we will describe the components of this incredible structure.


It makes up the Central Nervous System along with the spinal cord. It is the part contained in the skull and includes the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brainstem. It contains about 100 billion neurons.

It is the nervous mass that is surrounded by the meninges and inside there are cerebral ventricles filled with cerebrospinal fluid.

brain structure

The brain is structured with three main elements. These are:

  • The brain: composed of two hemispheres and being the most important part of our body. It is made up of a gray substance on the outside and a white one on the inside. It has wrinkles called gyri and makes up 85% of the brain.
  • Brain stem: it is formed by the midbrain, the pons and the medulla oblongata, taking into account that the latter is the part of the brain that joins the spinal cord and constitutes the lower part of the brain stem. The brain stem is also responsible for the involuntary responses of our body.
  • Cerebellum: It is located behind the brain and weighs approximately 120 grams. It has the shape of an extended butterfly and is in charge of coordinating movements when walking and performing motor activities.

Functions of the brain

The brain is the organ that is in charge of controlling thought, memory, touch, motor functions, vision, breathing, temperature, emotions, appetite, etc.

Each of its functions are distributed within the structure of the brain, but in function as components of the CNS they coordinate all kinds of activities.

Spinal cord

The spinal cord is defined as a nerve cord enclosed within the vertebral column. It is white in color and cylindrical in shape.

It is responsible for conducting through the nervous tissues by which it is formed, sensations towards the brain and the response impulses that the brain sends towards the muscles.

Structure of the spinal cord

The spinal cord is made up of the nerve connections to our entire body, and of two very characteristic substances. In a fragment of a medical book, they talk about the spinal cord , describing that it seems to only be made up of a white substance, but deep down at the back, the gray substance appears.

The gray matter are nuclei of neurons that accumulate as information processing centers. The white matter, for its part, interconnects the spinal cord and brain.

functions of the spinal cord

Among the functions of the spinal cord, it is observed that it is a channel through which the brain manages to send its nerve cells and the information through them throughout our body.

Reflexes are an important response of the spinal cord. It produces a performance independent of the sensory information we receive, and that is what allows us to react to dangerous and logical situations.

Central nervous system disorders

The Central Nervous System is vulnerable to certain external agents and internal factors that can alter its functionality. Next we mention which are the disorders that mainly affect these structures.


It is characterized mainly by being a pain that affects the nerves of the face. It is a sharp pain that follows the route of the nerve and is due to irritation or damage caused directly to it. It is a disorder that affects the nerve, which transmits sensations from the face to the brain and that is why it focuses on being a sensation that affects that area.


In the article developed by Kraychete and Sakata on Neuropathies , they are defined as pathologies related to infectious or immediate immune diseases. It is slow, insidious and sometimes the result of inheritance or toxins.

They cause damage to nerves outside the brain and spinal cord, and can lead to numbness in the hands and feet.

Injuries and tumors

A tumor located in the central nervous system (CNS) begins when healthy cells in the brain or spinal cord mutate and grow out of control, forming a mass that is considered a tumor and can be cancerous or benign.

Traumas, although they are cushioned after the cerebral cortex through the meninges, sometimes produce irreparable damage that leads to brain damage. The care of this type of conditions is reserved entirely for neurosurgery professionals, since they are highly complex.


Neurological Syndromes , are produced by the compression of a nerve and is observed under unpleasant sensations of tingling, burning, stabbing pain and atrophy occurs. It is seen in types of syndromes such as carpal tunnel, spinal cord tumors, herniated discs, and cervical rib syndrome.


Conditions in the CNS that end in dementia are generally due to mild cognitive impairment, often due to aging. Dementia is irreversible and changes occur in the brain that can be attributed to small strokes, paralysis and other types of diseases, always related to our complex nervous and structural system.


Epilepsy is defined as a direct disorder of the Central Nervous System, in which the activity of our brain varies and becomes abnormal, therefore, it produces seizures and unusual behaviors. It can even lead to loss of consciousness and memory.

In many cases, it can be caused by infections and this causes abnormal electrical function in the brain, in whole or in specific areas.

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