The human nervous system is an organ

Structure and function of the central nervous system (CNS)

The following information text contains detailed information on how the human nervous system, especially the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), is structured, what tasks it has in the human body and how it works when it is healthy.

Author: PD Dr. med. Gesche Tallen, created on: 04/24/2007, editing: Maria Yiallouros, approval: Prof. Dr. Ursula Creutzig, last changed: 25.06.2015 doi: 10.1591 / poh.patinfo.zns.1.20070626

For orientation within this very extensive area, we have divided this text into the following sections:

  1. The Human Nervous System - General Introduction and Organization
  2. The central nervous system (central nervous system; CNS)
  3. Responsibilities of the CNS
  4. Fine tissue structure of the CNS
  5. Classification of the CNS:

Important: Please note that when classifying and describing structures of the central nervous system at various points, we also take into account the associated parts of the peripheral nervous system [see peripheral nervous system]. For example, cranial nerves or spinal nerves that belong to the peripheral nervous system are also described in the chapter on "brain stem" or "spinal cord" due to their place of origin in the CNS.

We also briefly discuss the autonomic (autonomic) nervous system (see chapter of the same name), which has parts both in the central nervous system and in the peripheral nervous system. The same applies to the somatic nervous system, which is mentioned, for example, in the chapter on the cranial nerves (ascending nerve tracts of the sensory organs such as olfactory tract, visual tract, auditory tract) or in the chapter "Functional systems" (pyramidal tract).

Information on the division of the nervous system can be found in the chapter "Introduction to the nervous system".

Annotation: The information is not intended to be exhaustive and details should always be discussed personally with your healthcare team. The information serves as a basis for a better understanding of the problems that a tumor can cause in the nervous system and thus also to better understand the treatment strategies for the affected patients. The literature given below served as the source for this text.

Reading list

  1. Schmidt, RF: Human Physiology. Springer Verlag 29th, completely reworked. and updated edition, 2005 [ISBN: 3-540-21882-3] SCH2005i
  2. Trepel M: Neuroanatomy - Structure and Function. Elsevier GmbH, Urban & Fischer Verlag 3rd edition 2004 [ISBN: 978-3-437-41297-4] TRE2004
  3. Riede UN (Hrsg): General and special pathology. Georg-Thieme-Verlag 5. completely revised. Ed., 2004 [ISBN: 3-13-683305-8] RIE2004
  4. Kahle W (Hrsg): Pocket atlas of anatomy for study and practice: 3, nervous system and sensory organs. Georg-Thieme-Verlag 6th revised edition 1991 [ISBN: 3-13-552406-X] KAH1991
  5. Stöhr M, Brandt T, Einhäupl KM (eds): Neurological syndromes in intensive care medicine. Differential diagnosis and acute therapy. Kohlhammer Verlag 1190 [ISBN: 3-17-010223-0] STO1990

The central nervous system

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