Nervous system disorders
Montine, Thomas J. Department of Neuropathology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Alvord, Ellsworth C., Jr. Formerly, Department of Neuropathology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Shaw, Cheng-Mei Laboratory of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington.
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A general classification of the pathologies or diseases that impact upon the nervous system. An understanding of the disorders and diseases of the nervous system should include not only the type of lesion and reaction to injury, but also the site of involvement (Fig. 1). Indeed, exquisite localization of function is a key distinguishing feature between the nervous system and other organs of the body. Concerning the sites affected, one important regional division is between the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain, spinal cord, and their coverings (meninges), and the peripheral nervous system (PNS), which includes the motor, sensory, and autonomic components of nerves that traverse the body. Further important considerations with regard to nervous system disorders include age and sex. See also: Autonomic nervous system; Brain; Central nervous system; Meninges; Motor systems; Nervous system (vertebrate); Sensation; Spinal cord
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