What Is The Difference Between The Cranial And Spinal Nerves?


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Mary Frederick Profile
Mary Frederick answered
The basic difference between the cranial nerves and the spinal nerves is the role they play, in helping our bodies to function properly. The body has what is called a peripheral nervous system consisting of more than 100 billion nerve cells, which run all throughout our body, making connections with our brain, as well as other parts of the body, and sometimes with each other.

The peripheral nervous system is composed of two systems the somatic and autonomic nervous system. These nerves connect with both the brain and the spinal cord. Our muscles are controlled by voluntary and sensory receptors in the skin, this is an example of the somatic system. The autonomic system connects the brain stem and the spinal cord to the internal organs, and also regulates the body processes, like heart rate and blood pressure, stomach acid, and the speed of food travelling through our digestive systems.

The autonomic nervous system is divided into sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions. Each has a job to do within the body. The sympathetic division helps us to deal with stressful or emergency situations. They help us to know, when to fight and when to take flight. The parasympathetic division helps the body to function, in normal situations. Both divisions regulate our pulse, breathing and blood pressure to keep them stable.

The cranial nerves connect our brain to our eyes, ears, nose, throat and other parts of our head, neck and trunk. There are twelve (12) pairs of cranial nerves. The nerves, which connect the spinal cord to with other parts of the body are called spinal nerves. The brain communicates or connects with other parts of the body through the spinal nerves. We have thirty-one (31) pairs of spinal nerves.

Spinal nerves and cranial nerves are connected with the somatic and the autonomic parts of the peripheral nervous system. Some nerves are sensory nerves and other nerves are motor nerves, depending upon their function within the body. Go to www.merck.com and enter nervous systems into the website search bar. You will find more information about our nervous systems and their functions. You can also see diagrams of the cranial and spinal nerves.
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Anonymous commented
The cranial nerves connect our brain to our eyes, ears, nose, throat and other parts of our head, neck and trunk and the vicsera (thro the vagus nerve) and the diaphragm (thro the phrenic nerve)
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Cranial nerves can be sensory, motor, mixed and are mostly in the head.
Spinal nerves are all mixed and are from the down

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