Ans Nervous System Essay

1318 Words Mar 30th, 2005 6 Pages
The Structure & function of the
Autonomic Nervous System


The organs of our body are controlled by many systems in order to function correctly and efficiently in order to survive within the environment we live in. These include the heart, stomach and intestines and other vital organs and body systems. All of the systems in our body are regulated by a part of the nervous system called the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is part of the peripheral nervous system and it controls many organs and muscles within the body. Rather bizarrely we are unable to determine or feel its presence in our bodies as it is working involuntary, as a reflexive manner. A common example of this involuntary action is best understood when
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blood sugarIncreases metabolic rateIncreases rhythmic activities e.g. heart rateRaises sensory awareness Decreases metabolite levels, e.g. blood sugarNoneDecreases rhythmic activities, e.g. heart rateRestores sensory awareness to normal levels
Overall Effect Excitatory homeostatic effect Inhibitory homeostatic effect
Conditions when Active Dominating during danger, stress and activity, controls reactions to stress Dominant during restControls routine body activities
Figure 2: Tabulated difference between the Para/ Sympathetic nervous systems

The significance:

If we need to evaluate any evidence about the importance of the autonomic nervous system in life, we need only witness the disabling nature of autonomic disorders. Patients with severe autonomic failure are unable to stand but for few seconds, before syncope ensue due to orthostatic hypotension. The autonomic nervous system modulates the function of virtually all organ systems. These patients also suffer a variety of other symptoms. In most cases of autonomic failure is very noticeable the actions are progressively slow due to neurodegenerative

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