The Nervous System

The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord and nerves. It is the body’s communication system that controls much of what your body does. It allows you to do things like walk, speak, swallow, breathe and learn, and controls how your body reacts in an emergency.

Your nervous system is made up of:

  • Your central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Your peripheral nervous system, which consists of nerves that connect your CNS to the rest of your body.

Nerves are made up of cells called neurons. These carry messages from one part of the body to another. Different types of neurons do different things. For example, some carry messages from the brain to the muscles so you can move. Others detect light and sound and carry information about this to the brain.