The sympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system. It is also known to have thoracolumbar outflow because of the location of the preganglionic neurons in the thoracic, and the second and third lumbar segments of the spinal cord.
The main function of the sympathetic nervous system is to prepare the body for emergency situations. It will increase the heart rate, release stored energy, and increase muscle strength. The sympathetic nervous system can get affected by trauma to the head and spinal cord. Diseases like Parkinson, Alzheimer, Multiple sclerosis or Huntington’s disease can also cause problems in the system. Sometimes, brain tumor may also cause damage to the system. .
Certain prescription and over-the-counter drugs which are commonly abused along with excessive alcohol consumption may affect the system. Diseases like diabetes and cancer also damage the system. Infections in the brain such as Encephalitis, Meningitis and also Meningoencephalitis, which is a combination of the first two, are also known to cause adverse results. This might give way to a change in the neurological activity and cause mental confusion.
Birth defects or congenital problems can also cause problems in the sympathetic nervous system. It is good to avoid exposure to toxins like lead, arsenic and carbon monoxide which can make the system malfunction. Failures in organs like kidneys, heart, liver and lungs can also have a detrimental effect. Thyroid malfunction and improper nutrition are also known to cause adverse effects in the nervous system.
When the sympathetic nervous system fails, it can cause autonomic breakdown and multiple system degeneration.
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