Our nervous system developed together with man, having passed, as we once did, the path “from simple to complex”. Therefore, it has more ancient divisions inherent in the entire animal world (amphibians, mammals) and the young, which have reached the greatest development only in humans.
It consists of 2 large divisions.
1. The central is the brain and spinal cord.
Apparently, recognizing their special importance for the work of our body, nature placed the brain and spinal cord in a solid “case” formed by the bones of the skull and spine.
- The spinal cord and its continuation in the brain, the brain stem, are one of the most ancient structures of the NA, which are responsible for automatic movements and vital actions – swallowing, breathing, and heart function. Above the brain stem is another ancient part of the brain – the cerebellum, it helps to coordinate movements and navigate in space, adjusting the balance. For example, in newborns whose NA has not yet debased the connection between the spinal cord, cerebellum and other departments, the movements will be sweeping and aimless. Over time, these “bridges” are established, and then the children begin to move smoothly and clearly.
- Brain. The most important part of it – the cerebral hemispheres – resembles a walnut kernel in shape, interconnected by a partition. In the depths of the hemispheres are the subcortical nodes that are connected with the trunk and cerebellum and help us move, just like them. The cortex covering the hemisphere consists of brain cells – neurons. They are interconnected by processes, which are then “assembled” into the nerve plexus and nerves.
The area of the cortex is larger than the surface of the skull, so it gathers in folds, forming the gyrus of the brain. Its surface can be divided into fields bordering each other, as on a geographical map.
Each field is responsible for some task: movement, analysis of what he saw; there are letter centers, accounts, speeches and others. And the frontal cortex — one of the youngest — is responsible for our ability to think and influence our behavior.
The human nervous system (NS) is considered one of the most highly organized: it has both a control system (brain), and a clear order of subordination of the lower links to the highest, and a multitude of pathways that link them together.
The work of the National Assembly is based on reflexes: they can be simple (which manifest themselves outside of our will, that is, without the participation of consciousness) and complex (then the brain participates in their execution).
The nervous system matures, and its work is not set up immediately – this happens as the baby grows.
2. Peripheral NS – these are nerve plexuses and nerves. They, like electrical wires, carry a “message” —impulse — from the periphery (skin, internal organs, sense organs) to the center (spinal cord and brain).
Then, in response to the received “message”, the impulse “order to action” is sent back with their help.
The basis of the nervous system are reflexes. That is, in response to any “message” (touch, pain, sound, visual picture, taste appearing on the tongue, etc.), received outside by the senses and transmitted by nerves, a response occurs.
Reflexes can be simple – then, in spite of our will, their performance will be ensured by the ancient departments of the National Assembly, and this will be a simple movement. For example, even a very small child, having pricked, will detach a hand or leg from a stimulus, swallow food in his mouth, swallow it, turn off an unpleasant smell, and so on.
More complex reflexes are performed with the connection of all parts of the nervous system. Such “messages” are analyzed by the centers of the cerebral cortex, and due to its participation, a more complex movement occurs.
For example, noticing a shoe in mom’s hands, the baby will extend a leg, and when hungry, he will calm down when he sees that she is carrying something deliciously smelling in her hands.
As you understand, the work of the National Assembly is based on the reflex, which is performed due to the impulse received from the periphery. And since we know that it is similar to electrical, during electroencephalography, electroneuromyography devices only capture this discharge and record it.
In the meantime, ultrasound, echoencephalography, neurosonography, the device captures the signal reflected from different parts of the brain.
The fact that the NA small does not cope with the whole task of regulating the state of excitation and inhibition. It does not balance them, and the first process is more intense than the second. As a result, the baby does not sleep well.
Since sleep disorders in children are very different, he will need the help of a neurologist and a somnologist.
Usually, immediately after birth, the baby’s head does not have a regular round shape. This is the result of passing through the birth canal.
More often it reminds either a pumpkin or an egg. But do not worry: with the development of the brain, the bones of the skull are modeled and automatically acquire a normal form. From your side, you need only a little help: change the position of the baby in the crib often, turn him on the right or left side while sleeping, and when the child is awake, put him on his stomach.
Then over time, the shape of the head is sure to “round”.
If the baby does not have diseases of the digestive system, anorexia may be associated with the work of his NA. This often happens with excitable babies, and the point here is not only that the National Assembly cannot keep them in a single occupation for a long time, such as food.
Another problem is its peculiarity to react to what is happening around. For example, a one-year-old baby who has not received the desired toy may experience vomiting.
In essence, this is a reaction of discontent, expressed in extreme form.
The system itself and its work matures and tunes not immediately, it happens as the baby grows.
1st period: life before birth. NA appears on the 3rd week, at the beginning of the 2nd month, the child already has the beginnings of all parts of the brain and spinal cord.
It is very important that at this moment nothing should disturb the development of the baby: neither the mother’s illness, nor the action of the medicines, many of which may be unsafe, or other external “unfriendly” phenomena.
In the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, the baby’s brain quickly develops, departments appear in it, and from day to day it becomes more and more like an adult’s brain. In the 3rd trimester, the structure of the cerebral cortex of a child becomes more complex: gyrus and furrows occur.
These are two more stages in which the baby’s NA is vulnerable in the face of adverse external phenomena, and the expectant mother needs to be more attentive.
During each of your visits to the clinic, the pediatrician will measure the baby’s head and monitor whether its brain is developing and growing correctly. In numbers, this process looks like this: in the first 2 months, the baby’s head circumference increases to 2 cm per month, and by 6 months it is an average of 44 cm, by 1 year – 47 cm, by 2 – 50 cm, by 3 – 52 cm .
Deviations of 2-3 cm in both directions are permissible.
2nd period: after birth. So far, only the ancient divisions of the NA (spinal cord, brain stem, and cerebellum) control the life of the newborn, and therefore it all comes down to automatic actions — reflexes, with the ready set of which the child is born.
For example, having felt a touch to a cheek, the baby will turn the head in the same direction and will search for the lips of the mother’s breast; “Finding” an object in his hand will firmly grab it, demonstrating the ability (inherited from the baby monkey) to cling to the mother so as not to get lost and not fall; seeing a bright light, blink. So, no matter how helpless a newborn may seem to us, he can do a lot: he searches for food, swallows well, sucks, breathes, suffices.
And to learn to move, speak, behave and think, he will become as the brain, and especially its cortex, will gradually integrate into the process of managing the NA.
According to the reflexes of the newborn, the neonatologist at the maternity hospital will judge the state of his NA and its work.
The big spring is a soft hollow between the bones of the head, a place where they have not “managed” to grow together. If you gently push it, you will feel that there is no “bottom” in it. This unusual phenomenon is thought out by nature to the smallest detail.
First of all, it helps the child’s head to squeeze through the mother’s bone pelvis during childbirth. Then the spring will allow the bones of the baby’s skull to grow following the increase in his brain.
Typically, the size of the spring is 3 x 3 cm, sometimes slightly larger or smaller (the difference in size does not matter much, as the head can grow due to other joints of the bones of the skull – the seams). If everything is in order with the child, its spring will be flat, sometimes even slightly hollow. If something is wrong in the body, the spring will inflate.
This happens, for example, with increased intracranial pressure. However, the spring can swell and in the event that a completely healthy child got excited and burst into tears.
Becoming less and less, the spring is closed in a period of up to 1.5 years.
Because this is how abnormalities occur in the work of the autonomic NS, which regulates the functioning of the internal organs: the heart, lungs, all participants in the digestive system, and so on. The VNS performs this task without our participation – imagine how we would live, if we had to continuously monitor how the heart beats, the lungs move, and so on!
Among other things, it regulates the work of the vessels, causing them to narrow and expand in time. That is why, due to failures in the work of our “manager”, we and the little ones begin to freeze.
And since the ANS consists of two sections – one is responsible for expansion, the other is for contraction, violations of its work can also be expressed by another type of response when we are hot all the time. The propensity for any of these types can sometimes be inherited.
3rd period: growing up. The kid grows, his NA improves, and in the first year more complex actions are replaced by automatic ones, and the reflexes of the newborn die out.
Doctors are closely watching this process, because the delay of even one of them will not only prevent the child from mastering the next skill (for example, it is impossible to learn to walk without “coping” with the reflex, forcing him, after tilting his head, to press his arms and legs to the body), but and can be a signal to the disruption of his NA. Therefore, do not miss the time of regular examinations by a neurologist: at the age of 1 month, 3, 6, 9 months and at 1 year.
Be sure to show it to the neurologist. But first you need to attach something cold to the injured place, and let the child lie down quietly and in silence.
In the meantime, do this.
- from what height the child fell;
- on which surface (soft, hard);
- how he fell (it was a head-on or tangential collision).
Look at what happens to the baby:
- whether he lost consciousness and how long after the incident he cried;
- did he become lethargic, drowsy, or, conversely, too vigorous;
- Is it not vomiting, has there been vomiting;
- whether there are small bumps and abrasions on the body.
Even if the case was without injuries, the doctor will ask you to watch the baby for another 2–3 days so that none of the above symptoms go unnoticed.