NURSING CARE RELATED TO THE NEUROLOGICAL SYSTEM
Section I. ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
a. The nervous system can be thought of as having three major subdivisions:
The central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain and
(2) The peripheral nervous system (PNS), which consists of those nerves
which pass from the CNS to the periphery of the body (the cranial nerves and the spinal
(3) The autonomic nervous system (ANS), also referred to as the
"involuntary" nervous system. Outside of the CNS and considered to be part of the
PNS, the autonomic nervous system is sufficiently different in function to be studied as
a separate division. Body functions that are not under conscious control are regulated
by the ANS.
b. Neurological conditions are disorders that involve some portion of the nervous
system. These conditions may result from infections, deranged physiology, or trauma.
In all cases, the normal function of the nervous system has been altered, and the
patient is not in control of the alterations.
THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM
The CNS consists of the brain and the spinal cord, which share a continuous,
protective, fibrous membrane cover called the meninges. The meninges consist of
three separate membranes, which are separated by spaces.
a. Dura Mater.
(1) The dura mater is a tough fibrous layer that serves as the outer layer of
meninges and the inner lining of the cranial bones.
(2) Between the dura mater and the next layer of meninges is a potential
space called the subdural space.