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The motor nervous system is a series of nerves in the brain, spine, and muscle tissue that plays an important role in the movement of the human body, such as speaking, walking, and writing. When the function of the motor nervous system is disturbed, this can make it difficult for the body to move or even become paralyzed
The human motor nervous system is divided into two major groups, namely the central nervous and peripheral nerves. The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord, while the peripheral nerves consist of a group of nerves that connect the central nervous system to the musculoskeletal system which includes muscles, bones, and joints.
In addition, the motor nervous system is also connected with sensory nerves, allowing the human body to form reflex movements in response to the body's defense against something harmful.
For example, when the hand is exposed to a hot object or fire, the hand will automatically move away from the object to prevent injury or injury. While it may seem simple, it actually involves a complex variety of nervous system work.
How the Motor Nervous System Works
The motor nervous system, both the central and peripheral nerves, work together to transmit stimuli from the brain to the muscles so that a body movement occurs, such as walking, sitting and standing, breathing, or writing.
The following is the process of how the motor nervous system works in supporting the movement of the human body:
- Stimuli to move body parts are sent from the brain to the spinal cord and forwarded to the peripheral nerves in the limbs
- The peripheral motor nerves will receive and continue the stimulation to the muscle fibers
- After that, the muscles will move the bones according to their support in certain joints
When there is damage to the motor nerves, either in the central or peripheral nerves, the body will find it difficult to move. In the early stages, motor nerve disorders can cause weakness, but over time, paralysis can also occur.
If the damage is severe enough or is permanent, over time the muscle tissue may shrink or atrophy due to infrequent use.
Beware of Diseases of the Motor Nervous System
Not only can cause weakness and paralysis, disorders of motor nerves can also cause disturbances in body movements, such as body shaking or tremors and impaired body coordination such as ataxia.
Various disorders of the motor nerves can cause the sufferer to have difficulty in activities, such as speaking, swallowing, writing, walking, or reaching and picking up certain objects.
The following are some motor nerve diseases that can occur:
1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SLA)
This disease is relatively rare, but it is quite dangerous because it can significantly disrupt the motor nerve function in the sufferer's body. In general, SLA is more common in men than women.
SLA can cause sufferers to lose the ability to control the muscles of the arms, legs, and mouth. In the long term, this disease can cause paralysis and difficulty swallowing.
2. Primary lateral sclerosis (SLP)
Primary lateral sclerosis is a rare motor nervous system disease that attacks the central motor nervous system. This disease can make the muscles of the arms and legs stiff, so the sufferer will find it difficult to walk and fall easily.
3. Progressive muscle atrophy (AOP)
Progressive muscle atrophy disease causes damage to peripheral motor nerves. This disease usually begins with weakness in the arm muscles, then spreads to the body and legs to the feet. In addition, sufferers of this disease also often experience muscle cramps.
4. Spinal muscle atrophy
Almost the same as AOP, spinal muscular atrophy also attacks the peripheral motor nerves. This disease is caused by damage to the SMN1 gene, which functions to protect motor nerves. That way, the muscles will slowly weaken, especially in the arms, upper legs, and trunk.
In addition, there are many other diseases that can attack the motor nervous system, such as Parkinson's disease, Guillain Barré syndrome, polio, and cerebral palsy.
Diseases or disorders of the motor nervous system can be caused by various conditions. Some of these diseases are self-limiting and harmless, but they can also cause permanent paralysis, especially if left untreated or not treated properly.
Therefore, if you experience symptoms of disorders or diseases of the motor nervous system, for example, the body is difficult to move or feels weak, paralyzed, the body is shaking, or it is difficult to perform certain movements, you should immediately consult a doctor.
To diagnose diseases of the motor nervous system, the doctor will perform a physical examination and supporting examinations, such as:
- Blood and urine test
- Lumbar puncture
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Electroencephalography (EEG)
- muscle biopsy
- radiological examination, such as MRI and CT scan
After the diagnosis of the disease and its cause is known, the doctor can provide treatment to overcome disorders of the motor nervous system. This treatment can be done in various ways, ranging from giving drugs, physiotherapy, or surgery.
Meanwhile, in severe cases when motor neuron disorders have caused disability or a drastic decrease in quality of life, doctors can suggest occupational therapy.
The he alth of the motor nervous system is very important to maintain. Therefore, if you experience certain complaints or symptoms due to disorders of the motor nervous system, immediately consult a doctor to get the right treatment.