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Nervous tissue is a vital part of our nervous system. Without the nervous system, humans would not be able to function. Nervous tissue is composed of cells called neurons, which allow the body to convey messages through electrical nerve impulses. Neurons help us make sense of stimulation, control muscle contractions, and coordinate many bodily functions and movements. On top of that, nervous tissue is what allows us to have awareness, form memories, exhibit reasoning skills and feel complex emotions.
The primary components of the nervous system are the brain and spinal cord. We refer to these organs as the “central nervous system.” Because it is such a necessary part of our being, we have bones (the skull and spine) to surround and protect the central nervous system. Any other nerves or ganglia outside of the brain and spinal cord are referred to as the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system allows the central nervous system to connect with every other part of our body. The peripheral nervous system is further broken down into the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system. Our ability to voluntarily move our muscles is thanks to the somatic nervous system. In contrast, the autonomic nervous system is largely involuntary and helps with breathing, heart rate and other “automatic” body functions.
If I am ever in a car accident, knowing about the nervous system and its functions will help me communicate with the medical professionals. For instance, if I lose feeling in one part of my body, I can help them determine where the injury originated. I will now know how to treat potential head, neck and spine injuries to prevent serious damage.
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