Nervous System Diseases Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Your nervous system is the control center of your body. Learn about problems that can affect the nervous system, including spina bifida, cerebral palsy, ADHD, autism, concussions, headaches, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease.

The Nervous System

Your nervous system is the know-it-all of your body. It senses things going on inside and outside of you, and it controls body functions. It's made up of your brain, spinal cord, and nerves. When the parts of your nervous system are working correctly, you're able to think, learn, talk, and move without difficulty. But, sometimes problems can affect the nervous system, and such nervous system diseases can affect memory and physical ability.

The nervous System
nervous system

Nervous System Diseases

Let's explore some of the most common nervous system diseases.

Spina bifida

Some problems develop before a baby is born, such as spina bifida. Spina bifida is a fancy medical name that means 'split spine.' With spina bifida, the spine (also called the backbone) doesn't form properly while the baby is still inside the mother's womb. If the gap in the spine is small, the baby might not have any problems, but if a large part of the spine is split, it can affect the child's ability to walk or survive.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is another nervous system disease that is often present from birth. The word cerebral refers to the cerebrum, which is part of the brain. With cerebral palsy, the brain has a hard time telling the body what to do. A child with cerebral palsy might be in a wheelchair because they have trouble walking and moving like other children.

ADHD

Some nervous system problems affect a child's behavior, such as ADHD, which stands for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD is very common--you might know someone who has ADHD or you might have it yourself. ADHD makes it hard to sit still and pay attention in class. A child with ADHD may be very active and talkative.

Autism

Autism is another nervous system disorder that can affect a child's behavior. Autism affects people in different ways. Some children with autism have trouble acting appropriately in social situations, like at school. Autism can affect a child's ability to talk with others or cause repetitive behaviors, like rocking or flapping hands. Medical researchers are still not sure what causes autism.

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