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The central nervous system (CNS) is made up of the brain and the spinal cord. The central nervous system controls thought processes, guides movement, and registers sensations throughout the body.
The spinal cord is a single continuous structure that goes from the brain through the base of the skull and down the spinal column. Individual paired spinal nerves continue down to the tailbone.
Injuries or diseases that affect the central nervous system can sometimes cause permanent loss of function and disability.
Last Revised: September 1, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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