If you are wondering how do the cardiovascular and nervous systems connect to each other, this can be better understood by understanding the structures of the nervous system as the main source of basic life support.
The nervous system consists of specialized network of cells called neurons. The neuron is responsible for sending information from the brain to the other parts of the body. The cardiovascular system connects with the nervous system through these networks of neurons that transmit motor and sensory signals from the brain to the other organs of the body and from the organs back to the brain.
The nervous system is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. Motor and sensory information passes through neural pathways in the forms of nerves coming from the spinal cord. The spinal nerves pass on the vertebral body to be distributed to their point of innervation to various body organs as peripheral nerves.
The peripheral nerves mainly connect the nerves from the brain to the spinal cord. It supplies both motor and sensory functions to different body systems including the cardiovascular system.
As peripheral nerves, the nervous system is able to supply motor and sensory functions to the heart through the cranial nerve 10, also called the vagus nerve. Vagus nerve innervates the heart and provides control on the contraction of the heart muscles. The vagus nerve is also responsible for controlling vital physiological functions in the body such as breathing and digestive functions.
The part of the brain that is responsible for controlling the cardiovascular functions is the brainstem. The brainstem is responsible for controlling basic life functions such as respiration, cardiac activities, blood pressure, and eye reflexes. It also controls the vagus nerve.
The central nervous system also provides vascular supply to the heart. This is made possible through the coronary circulatory system. The connection between the nervous system and the cardiovascular system gives the main reason why abnormalities in brain activities can increase the risk for heart disease. In likewise manner, heart ailments can also affect the brain functions that can result to neurological conditions such as coma, stroke, and aneurysm. If the brain ceases to work thereby affecting the nervous system function in the body, the heart will fail to contract and will eventually cause death.
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