This book is a concise, illustrated guide to the anatomy, physiology, well-being, and disorders of the human brain and nervous system. It has been written and illustrated specially for students and laypeople interested in medicine, health, fitness, and first aid. The subject is dealt with in clear steps, so that the reader can steadily acquire a good overall understanding. Explanatory texts, diagrams, illustrations, captions, and fact boxes are combined to help readers grasp important information at a glance. A glossary of scientific and jargon words defines medical terms in everyday language. A list of Web sites provides links to other relevant sources of information, and the index enables quick access to articles.
Introduction: About this book 4 SECTION 1 NERVOUS SYSTEM Introduction 6 Nervous system organization 8 Nerve and brain key words 10 Nerve cells - neurons 12 Types of nerve cell 14 Nerve impulses 16 Nerve synapses 18 Sensory nerves and sense perception 20 Motor nerves and muscle control 22 Reflexes 24 Endocrine system 26 Pituitary gland and hypothalamus 28 Major nervous system disorders 30 SECTION 2 BRAIN Introduction 32 Brain development 34 Brain external features 36 Brain internal structures 38 Brainstem and midbrain 40 Brain functions 42 Memory 44 Sleep 46 Stress and mental illness 48 Exercises to relieve stress 50 Drugs and the brain 52 Brain disorders 54 SECTION 3 SPINAL CORD Introduction 56 Spinal cord 58 Spinal nerves 60 Cranial nerves 62 Shoulder, chest, and arm nerves 64 Hip and leg nerves 66 Skin nerves 68 Nerve plexi 70 Protecting the nervous system 72 Nerve damage and disorders 74 SECTION 4 AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM Introduction 76 Sympathetic control 78 Parasympathetic control 80 SECTION 5 HORMONAL SYSTEM Introduction 82 Endocrine glands and hormones 84 How hormones work 86 Thyroid and parathyroid glands 88 Thymus and pineal glands 90 Adrenal glands 92 Pancreas as an hormonal gland 94 Negative feedback and hormones 96 Sex glands and hormones 98 Endocrine disorders and stress 100 Glossary 102 Websites to visit 108 Index 109