Neurons, Hormones, and the Brain Damage to the Spinal Cord The spinal cord is what connects the brain and body, and it is protected by the bones in the spinal column. Injuries to the spinal cord can cause serious problems, such as paralysis. Even relatively minor damage to the spinal cord can cause loss of feeling in parts of the body, impaired organ function, and loss of muscular control. Though spinal cord injuries are usually permanent, current research into regenerated axons and stem cells offers hope that one day these injuries may be treated successfully. The Peripheral Nervous System All the parts of the nervous system except the brain and the spinal cord belong to the peripheral nervous system . The peripheral nervous system has two parts: the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system. The Somatic Nervous System The somatic nervous system consists of nerves that connect the central nervous system to voluntary skeletal muscles and sense organs. Voluntary skeletal muscles are muscles that help us
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