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The nervous system is quite possibly the most complex system of the human body. It is responsible for analyzing, transmitting, interpreting, and integrating responses throughout the billions of nervous system cells. Due to its level of complexity, it is therefore important to grasp the basic anatomy and physiology of this system before understanding the various associated pathologies and possible problems that may affect it. You will learn about the macro structures of the CNS and their many different roles and functions. All human behaviour is dependant upon these three different but interacting systems: the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous systems.

This module will explain the basic anatomy and physiology of the nervous system including:

  • Structure and composition of the nervous system
  • Neurons and neuroglial cells
  • Action potential and synaptic transmission
  • Protective mechanisms of the brain
  • Cerebral circulation
  • Composition of central nervous system
  • Composition of the peripheral nervous system
  • Role of the somatic nervous system
  • Role of the autonomic nervous system


Hole, J.R., Jr. (1990). Human Anatomy and Physiology (5 th Ed.). Iowa: William C. Brown Publishers.

Lewis, S.M., Heitkemper, M.M., Dirksen, S.R., O’Brien, P.G. & Bucher, L. (2007). Medical-Surgical Nursing (7th Ed.). (Vol. 2). Philadelphia: Mosby Inc.

Marieb, E.N. (2005). Anatomie et physiologie humaines (3 e éd.) St-Laurent : Éditions du Renouveau Pédagogique Inc.

Tortora, G. & Derrickson, B. (2006). Principles of Anatomy and Physiology (11th Ed.). New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons Inc.

Urden, L.D., Stacy, K.M., & Lough, M.E. (2006). Thelans’ Critical Care Nursing Diagnosis and Management. (5th ed). Boston: Mosby.

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