Constructed from those sensory and motor neurons found outside the white and gray matter of the spinal cord and brain, the peripheral nervous system is generally divided into the sensory- somatic and autonomic nervous systems; the last of which is then subdivided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Altogether, the nervous system is biologically comprised of the neurons and supporting cells required to control the voluntary and involuntary actions of the body, including Schwann cells, satellite cells (or ganglionic gliocytes), oligodendrocytes, microglia, astrocytes, and ependymal cells. Constituting and supporting the brain and spinal cord within the central nervous system, these cells also serve to establish and support the cranial and spinal nerves of the peripheral nervous system, which arise from the brain and spinal cord, respectively. Understanding the development and homeostasis of the nervous system, the many pathways responsible for maintaining and regulating its proper functionality, and the implications of nervous system dysfunction, remain poignant within research concerning the nervous system and neurodegenerative diseases.
Research exploring the biological processes of the nervous system and their influences on both human behavior and function offers vast possibilities for the understanding, as well as treatment, of various neurological diseases and disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Epilepsy.
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