Peripheral Nervous System

Introduction To What Peripheral Nervous System

The function and communication system of the body is controlled by the nervous system.  There are two parts of the nervous system; these are the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system. The nerves, spinal cord, and ganglia are included in the peripheral nervous system. This nervous system serves as the link between the central nervous system, limbs, and organs. There are two kinds of nerve fibers which are known as afferent and efferent fibers. It connects the brain, spinal cord with the body. The response and information are brought from the brain and spinal cord to CNS via the pathway of the nervous system.

Peripheral Nervous System Location 

The components of the peripheral nervous system are the nerves and ganglia that are present outside the spinal cord and the brain. 

Peripheral Nervous System Function

Organs and limbs are connected to the central nervous system, essentially assisting as a relay between the spinal cord, the brain, and the rest of the body which is the main function of the PNS.

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Classification of Peripheral Nervous system

The two parts of the peripheral nervous system are named as Somatic Nervous System and the Autonomic Nervous System.

  1. Somatic Nervous System- The impulse is transferred to skeletal muscles from the central nervous system via the help of the Somatic Nervous System. Cranial and spinal nerves are also termed as the major components of the Somatic Nervous System. It is responsible for carrying messages from the outer area of the body.

  • Cranial Nerves- These nerves are found to emerge from the brain. From the brain, around 12 pairs of cranial nerves emerge. The names of all 12 cranial nerves are as follows: Olfactory nerve, Optic nerve, Oculomotor nerve, Trochlear nerves, Trigeminal nerves, Abducens nerves, Facial nerve, Vestibulocochlear nerve, Glossopharyngeal nerve, Vagus nerve, Accessory nerve, Hypoglossal nerve.

  • Spinal Nerves- They emerge from the spinal cord. This nerve has thirty-one pairs. They move towards the area of ventral and dorsal roots. Between two roots, there is a junction where the sensory fibers and the motor fibers continue into the dorsal root and ventral root respectively.

  1. Autonomic Nervous System- The response which comes from the central nervous system is passed on to the smooth muscles and involuntary organs of the body via the pathway of the autonomic nervous system. It also has two further divisions which are known as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

  • Sympathetic Nervous System- There are nerves that arise from the spinal cord. It is found to be located between the neck and the waist region. Adrenalin is responsible for stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. It is responsible for preparing the body against all the violent actions which can take place during the abnormal conditions of the body.

  • Parasympathetic Nervous System- The location of the parasympathetic nervous system is anterior in the neck and head. On the other side, the location of the posterior is the sacral region. This nervous system is totally responsible for re-establishing the normal condition in the body when the violent action gets over.

Role of Peripheral Nervous System 

The internal homeostasis is regulated by this nervous system.

  • The release of secretions from exocrine glands is controlled by the peripheral nervous system.

  • The brain and the spinal cord are connected to the body and the outer environment through the pathway of the peripheral nervous system. It works as a connecting link between the central nervous system, organs, skin, and limbs of the body. The complex behavior and movements are controlled by the peripheral nervous system. 

  • When any kind of sensation is felt within any part of the body then it’s carried to the CNS by the help of the skin’s sensory receptor. Then the signal is taken to the sensory organs.

  • Involuntary muscles are found to be controlled by autonomic motor cells.

Disorder of The Peripheral Nervous System

  • Around a hundred kinds of disorders can happen in the peripheral nervous system. One or more nerves can be affected due to this. Some diseases like Guillain-Barre syndrome, diabetic nerve problems, thoracic outlet syndrome, etc can be the result of other diseases or virus infection.

  • Sometimes, an injury can cause problems like complex regional pain syndrome.

  • In some cases, the disorder can be found to be caused due to genetic inheritance.

  • These kinds of disorder symptoms become unnoticeable but get worse quickly.

  • Individuals should practice regular exercises and yoga in order to cure such disorders as it will help in reducing pain.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy? 

  1. The early symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include prickling in fingers and numbness.

  2. It can spread to hands or legs where it can cause freezing, burning, pain, etc.

  3. It often gets worse at night. It can be constant pain that is felt on both sides of the body.

  4. Sensitivity can be felt at many times when the individual tries to touch something. The pain is found to be sharp and terrific.

  5. Muscles can become weak. The individuals may face difficulty in moving or walking.

  6. Sweating is also considered to be a symptom of peripheral neuropathy.

  7. Blood pressure can become abnormal. 

2.  What will happen if the peripheral nervous system gets damaged?

Not only the functions of organs are controlled, but also motor and sensory information are transmitted by the peripheral nervous system. Due to trauma PNS can be damaged and it can cause Charcot- Marie- Tooth (CMT). The ability of the brain can be affected by this kind of damage. This will damage the brain's communication with the organs and muscles. A good and quick medical care and treatment are needed for peripheral nerve injury. If these measures are not taken at the right moment then it can lead to huge complications and permanent damage.