Nervous System vs. Endocrine System

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Difference between Nervous System and Endocrine System

The human body is an endless network of muscles, bones, organs and is overall constantly striving to make sure that the body performs at the optimal functioning capacity. Amongst the most important systems in the body are the nervous system and the endocrine system, both of which serve essential functions related to each other.

Nervous System
Endocrine System

Definition

The communication system of the human body relies in a great degree on one trillion neurons, all of which make up the nervous system. It is this vast network of neurons that serves as the highway for signals emanating from the brain and coursed throughout the body. This system is comprised of two parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, each of which include the brain and spinal cord, and the nerves and nerve networks, respectively.

The endocrine system is the other system essential to mind-body communication. This system is made up of glands, along with the nerves connected in a vast network throughout the entire body. Although not directly connected with each other, the endocrine system does interact with the nervous system in numerous ways.

Components And Function

The central nervous system is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord. Surrounding them are protective layers of bone and membrane tissues called meninges. The brain and the spinal cord are also suspended in cerebrospinal fluid giving them further protection.

The endocrine system on the other hand is composed of numerous glands that secrete hormones, which essentially deliver chemical messages throughout the body. Some of the most important glands in the body are the pineal gland, the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, the thyroid, and the ovaries in women and the testes in men. Each of these glands perform very specific roles in the human body.

The Interconnection

The nervous system and endocrine system actually work in tandem in numerous ways, worth the hypothalamus section of the brain serving as the link between the two. The hypothalamus itself is comprised of nuclei that control numerous aspects of human behavior. The hypothalamus is located at the base of the frontal part of the brain, and it is responsible for regulating our basic needs such as sleep, hunger, thirst and even sex. The gland is also responsible for regulating emotions and response to stress. Finally, the hypothalamus also controls the pituitary glands, which are in turn responsible for controlling hormonal release from other glands in the system.

Similarities and Differences

Nervous system

  • Has a vast network of neurons that serves as the highway for signals emanating from the brain and coursed throughout the body
  • Comprised of two parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system
  • Central nervous system is comprised of the brain and the spinal cord

Endocrine system

  • Made up of glands and nerves connected in a vast network throughout the entire body
  • Interacts with the nervous system in numerous ways
Which system is easier to damage?
  • Nervous System
  • Endocrine System
 
 

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