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see nervous systemnervous system,
network of specialized tissue that controls actions and reactions of the body and its adjustment to the environment. Virtually all members of the animal kingdom have at least a rudimentary nervous system.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the cordlike association of nerve tissues that links the brain and nerve ganglia by innervation to the other organs and tissues of the body.

A nerve primarily consists of nerve fibers. In vertebrates many nerves converge to form a bundle that is surrounded by a connective tissue sheath, the perineurium; the thin interstitial layers of connective tissue that separate the individual fibers deep within the bundle constitute the endoneurium. Finally, the entire nerve trunk, comprising several bundles, is covered by an additional sheath, the epineurium.

Nerves can be sensory (also called afferent or centripetal) or motor (also called efferent or centrifugal). Some nerves, for example, those innervating the skeletal muscles, mainly include myelinated, or medullated, fibers; others, for example, the sympathetic nerves, largely consist of unmyelinated, or unmedullated, fibers.

In reptiles, birds, mammals, and man 12 pairs of cranial nerves branch from the brain: the olfactory (cranial nerve I), the optic (cranial nerve II), the oculomotor (cranial nerve III), the trochlear (cranial nerve IV), the trigeminal (cranial nerve V), the abducent (cranial nerve VI), the facial (cranial nerve VII), the acoustic (cranial nerve VIII), the glossopharyngeal (cranial nerve IX), the vagus (cranial nerve X), the accessory (cranial nerve XI), and the hypoglossal (cranial nerve XII). Only the first ten pairs are present in fish and amphibians.

In man there are 31 pairs of spinal nerves: eight cervical, 12 thoracic, five lumbar, five sacral, and one coccygeal. Each pair innervates the effectors and receptors of a certain part of the body. The spinal nerves branch from the spinal cord into two roots—the posterior, or sensory, and the anterior, or motor. Both roots then combine to form a common trunk that consists of both sensory and motor fibers.

Several adjacent nerves can be combined into nerve plexuses, where an exchange of fibers between different nerves can take place. Three large plexuses are distinguished: the cervical, the brachial, and the lumbosacral. Each nerve plexus is the origin of several pairs of nerves; for example, the sacral portion of the lumbosacral plexus gives rise to the sciatic nerves.

Nerves that originate in the ganglia, trunks, and plexuses of the autonomic nervous system constitute a specific group. The optic nerve is remarkable for its large number of fibers; there are more than 1 million in the human optic nerve. Usually, however, there are 103 -104 fibers in a nerve. In invertebrates certain nerves are known to consist of only a few fibers. The peripheral nervous system in animals and man consists of aggregations of nerves.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A bundle of nerve fibers or processes held together by connective tissue.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Any one of the ribs of a groined vault, but esp. a rib which forms one of the sides of a compartment of the groining.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. any of the cordlike bundles of fibres that conduct sensory or motor impulses between the brain or spinal cord and another part of the body
2. a large vein in a leaf
3. any of the veins of an insect's wing
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
If we had taken the lightest filament of the three test-sites as threshold for the nerve, the threshold for the radial cutaneous and sural nerve would have been one filament lower (200 mg (FIN 3 61) and 2 g (FIN 4 31) respectively).
IL-6+ (n = 14) Sural nerve SNAP amplitude ([micro]V) 4.4 [+ or -] 6.8, 6.6 SNCV (m/s) 47.5 [+ or -] 9.8, 47.2 Common peroneal nerve CMAP amplitude (mV) 3.2 [+ or -] 2.2, 5.3 MNCV (m/s) 40.0 [+ or -] 6.5, 43.9 F-wave minimal latency (ms) 54.7 [+ or -] 10.5, 52.0 SSR Latency (s) 1.4 [+ or -] 0.3,1.3 Amplitude ([micro]V) 0.9 [+ or -] 0.6, 0.8 IL-6- (n = 18) P Sural nerve SNAP amplitude ([micro]V) 9.0 [+ or -] 6.9, 10.5 0.033 SNCV (m/s) 45.3 [+ or -] 8.5, 43.8 n.s.
Common peroneal nerve CMAP showed a gradual increase similar to SNAP for sural nerve. Ulnar nerve also followed almost the similar pattern but there was a slight aberration during midfollicular phase.
Quantitative teased-fiber and histologic studies of human sural nerve during postnatal development.
In the present study latency, amplitude and NCV of sural nerve showed deterioration with the duration of diabetes.
A complex analysis of the expression profiles in sural nerve biopsies was performed in 36 subjects with mild to moderate neuropathy in predominantly type 2 diabetic subjects as a part of a larger intervention study [35].
Vagus was reanastomosed, using the sural nerve graft (Figure 7(d)).
Compound muscle action potentials (CMAP) and sural nerve SNAPs were recorded using disc electrodes.
Sural nerve biopsy revealed nerve demyelination, axonal degeneration, and an obvious loss of large myelinated fibers, accompanied by Schwann cell proliferation and onion bulb formation.
The original technique is performed by an oblique based full thickness lateral incision on the calcaneus in line of the osteotomy (4,5) posterior to the peroneal tendons and the sural nerve. (6,7) The line of both skin incision and osteotomy is determined by putting a Kirschner wire over the lateral face of the calcaneus under fluoroscopy, ensuring not to harm the insertion of plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and the subtalar joint.