Nervous System Facts - Interesting Factual Information about Human Nervous System

  • Brain is the supreme organ of your nervous system and the all-in-all boss of the body that runs the show and controls almost everything essential activity in your body.
  • The entire brain team consists of five key players, namely, pituitary, hypothalamus, brain stem, cerebrum and cerebellum.
  • Making up about 85% of your brain, cerebrum is the biggest part that is concerned with thinking and the execution of voluntary movements in your body.
  • Controlling balance, movements and coordination, cerebellum measures just 1/8th of cerebrum and is placed below it.
  • Another small but mighty part of your brain, the brainstem, serves as a control center for the smooth and continuous activity of breathing even when you are asleep.
  • It is an interesting nervous system fact that, in a single second, as many as 2,500 (two thousand five hundred) electrical signals can pass along an axon which is a long projecting fiber of a nerve cell or neuron.
  • Reflexes in your body are actually emergency reactions of the nervous system to a danger, for example, a hot object touching the skin.
  • At the cervical region, the spinal cord has maximum thickness of 0.5 inch which is reduced to almost half (0.25 inch) on reaching the thoracic region of vertebral column.
  • A junction between two consecutive neurons is known as synapse where the axons release chemical substances, called neurotransmitters.
  • According to the results of research works, human brain contains more neurons or nerve cells in it than the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy!
  • Here is one of the most interesting facts about nervous system that if you link up all the nerve cells in your body in a straight line, it will measure over 600 miles in length!
  • The entire nervous system can be divided into two subsystems, namely, central nervous system and peripheral nervous system where the former is made up of brain, spinal cord and retina, and the latter consists of sensory neurons, ganglia and nerves that connect to one another and to the central nervous system.
  • To put it in simpler and more comprehensive way, the nervous system is actually a network of electrical wiring in your body where the cylindrical bundles of fibers (nerves) act as efficient wires that start at the brain and spinal cord, and branch out to reach every single part of your body.
  • There are as many as 13.5 million neurons found in the spinal cord of humans!
  • The overall length of spinal cord shows variation on the basis of gender as it is longer in a human male (17.7 inches) than that found in a human female (16.9 inches).
  • As you grow older, the mass of your brain goes on decreasing, losing almost one gram per year!
  • According to one of the facts about nervous system, there are as many as 100,000,000,000 (hundred billion) neurons found in human brain!
  • During the course of its first year, the brain of a newborn human baby grows almost three times in size.
  • It is quite surprising to note that right side of your brain controls the left side of the body, while the left side is meant for controlling the right side.
  • For the provision of structural and metabolic support, your nervous system contains specialized cells that are known as glial cells or simply glia.
  • The living cells in your body have multiple options, at their disposal, for sending information-containing signals to another cell.
  • The signals sent by a neuron to another in the body travel in the form of electrochemical waves along the thin fibers, called axons, which form a part of the nerve cells.
  • Genetic defects, infections, the process of aging and physical damages due to trauma or poison can affect the normal functioning of nervous system, resulting in several inconveniences to be faced by the individual.
  • Providing relay points and intermediary connections between the central and peripheral nervous systems, ganglia are actually the clusters of nerve cells or neurons.
  • It is one of the amazing nervous system facts that prior to their birth, the human newborns lose about half of their nerve cells.
  • If you talk about the total surface area of your entire brain mass, it measures about 25,000 cm2.
  • Documents from the ancient Egypt contain the accurate description of meninges, external surface of the brain, cerebrospinal fluid as well as the intracranial pulsations.
  • In the era of ancient Greece, the medical practitioners were able to dissect human nervous system and Aristotle marked a clear distinction between cerebrum and cerebellum.
  • In the 17th century, Thomas Wills published his two books on the study of brain, namely, “Anatomy of the Brain” and the “Cerebral Pathology” where he clearly described the brain which he had removed from a cranium. He also gave a comprehensive description of the circle of vessels that ensures arterial supply of the brain. In addition to it, he worked on different abnormalities of nervous system, such as paralysis, apoplexy and epilepsy, etc.
  • Do you know that the smooth, efficient and voluntary functioning of your five major senses, namely, sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch, is owed to the very existence and working of the nervous system?
  • Through its evolution, the human brain has become more and more complicated and many of its interesting characteristics still remain least understood by the scientists all around the world.
  • The human brain is almost three times bigger than that of other mammalian species that have the same body size.
  • An adult female's brain weighs approximately 100 gram less than that of an adult male, measuring 1275 gram and 1375 gram, respectively.
  • Your brain, the central structure of nervous system, makes up just 2% (about 3 pounds) of the body weight but it is found to consume about 20% of energy available and used in the body.
  • Only four percent (4%) of your brain is utilized for the execution of miscellaneous activities in your body, while the remaining cells are kept in reserve.

About the Author

Posted by: M. Isaac / Senior writer

A graduate in biological sciences and a PhD scholar (NCBA&E University, Lahore), M. Isaac combines his vast experience with a keen and critical eye to create practical and inherently engaging content on the human body. His background as a researcher and instructor at a secondary school enables him to best understand the needs of the beginner level learners and the amateur readers and educate them about how their body works, and how they can adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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