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THE NERVOUS SYSTEM - Stanford University

By Ronnie Lawson,2014-03-28 07:32
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THE NERVOUS SYSTEM - Stanford Universitythe,THE,The

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    Alcohol and Drug Abuse?

    Grade 4

    H.E.L.P. for Kids 2004-2005

    MAIN MESSAGES:

    It receives and sends out 1. The nervous system is the command control of our body.

    messages throughout the body.

    2. The functional cell type in our nervous system is the neuron.

    Alcohol gets into the blood through the digestion system. It is broken down by the liver.3.

    4. Alcohol affects the nervous system. It slows down the transmission of messages leading

    to a variety of behavioral changes.

    5. Alcohol slows down the time for the body to react. Thus, drivers who drink are more

    likely to cause accidents.

    6. Recreational drugs affect the nervous system by slowing down, speeding up, or changing

    the passing of messages. There are harmful consequences.

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MATERIALS

Transparencies or posters

     The nervous system

     Neuron(s)

     Digestive system if necessary

Human brain fixed from Pathology Department at Stanford Medical School

    Nerf ball

    Drunken goggles

Student Hand-out Packet

     Take Home Messages

     Glossary

     The Neuron

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     Teaching Message 1: The nervous system is the command control of our body

     including our brain. It receives and sends out messages to all parts of the body.

Class Activity #1: The clapping experiment. To kids, when I say start, you clap your hands 5

    times, hard. (Demonstrate if necessary.) Now, what makes it possible for you to do that? Let’s analyse this simple experiment.

1. First, you heard what I said, i.e., to clap your hands. What do we use to hear? (Call on kids

    to respond.) Yes, our ears! Hearing is an important part of our brain.

    2. Second, you understood what we said, thought about it, and decided to do what we had asked.

    What abilities would you need to have to carry out these? Call on kids. To understand what

    was said? Yes, learning! To decide what to do? Yes, thinking, and remembering.

    3. Third, you clapped your hands. Once you decided what to do, you did it. That involved

    movement. That is, your brain told your hands to clap.

    4. Four, you felt the sting. What did that involve? Yes, feeling pain. Your palms told your

    brain that there was a little stinging or pain.

    These are all examples of senses and movements coordinated by the nervous system. There were all sorts of messages going back and forth between the nervous system and other parts of your body in that simple experiment.

    Now you know that even a simple activity that can be done in fraction of a second takes a series of well-coordinated activities all carried out by different cells in our body. Our nervous system acts as a big communicating system between these cells. It regulates and coordinates the activities our body does by detecting what is going on inside our body and in our outside environment and responding accordingly.

    So, if our nervous system breaks down or does not function properly, we could be in deep trouble.

     Teaching Message 2: The functional cell type in our nervous system is the neuron.

    ; If our nervous system is a communicating system, how does it send and receive messages throughout our body?

The special functional cell type in our nervous system, such as in our brain, is the nerve cell, the

    neuron. (Ask kids what they remember from having looked at neurons with the slide viewer in the Cell session.) These cells look quite different from other cell types such as the blood cells you saw under the microscope before. They come in different sizes shapes and could reach several feet long. However, they all have a similar basic structure. Show Figure, pointing out

    the dendrites, cell body, and axon. Dendrites receive messages and axons send out messages.

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    These messages move through the cell as an electrical impulse. The messages of one neuron

    could be sent to another neuron, then another neuron, and so on to start a chain reaction. Or, they could be sent to the target such as muscle.

; What do you think would happen if we damaged our brain in some way?

    Brain cells when they are damaged often do not recover. Our neurons in the brain do not divide during our lifetime as most of our other cells do. So we have only what we are born with. We do not get any new ones. So, if they are damaged, they are damaged or gone forever. These damages can be caused by accidents, injuries, diseases, and alcohol or drugs. Imagine not being able to move your arms or your legs, or to feel, see, or think normally. Since our nervous system controls everything we do, we must protect it and not damage it.

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    Alcohol and Drug Abuse

; Do you know people who always drink alcohol on social occasions?

    About 80% of adults in this country drink alcohol, ranging from those who drink socially to those who abuse alcohol. Abuse of alcohol or any drug means that the drugs are used too much

    to the extent that they cause physical damage to the users, behavior harmful to themselves and to others, and impairment of the users’ ability to function socially in the family, in school, with friends, or on the job.

    According to the law, it is illegal to drink before the age of 21. People under 21 are not allowed to buy alcohol in the stores or order alcohol in restaurants including beer, wine, and anything containing alcohol.

     Teaching Message 3: Alcohol gets into the blood through the digestive system.

     It is broken down by the liver.

    ; If alcohol is a beverage and goes through our digestive system, how do you think it gets into our blood? Review the digestive system if necessary.

    It gets into our blood mostly at the small intestines in the same way as our foods, and can be transported throughout our body. The first place alcohol goes once it is absorbed into the blood is the liver (Figure). The liver is an organ in our body which helps us get rid of many toxic materials. It also breaks down alcohol.

     Teaching Message 4: Alcohol affects the nervous system. It slows down the passing of messages leading to a variety of behavioral changes.

    ; How does someone who has drunk too much behave? Call on kids to answer and write on board. Staggering, loss of many motor skills, speech slurring, etc.

    They act this way because alcohol has affected their nervous system. This results in a loss of coordination, balance, and motor skills. Heavy drinkers stagger when they walk, have slurred speech, fall over things, and cannot control when they urinate.

    Class Activity: Effect of alcohol on vision and movement. Drunken goggles. It mimics the

     distortion of vision and difficulty in movement as caused by having drunk too much alcohol.

    ; Alcohol is a depressant. It slows down the nervous system, i.e. the passing of messages. Mentally, alcohol reduces inhibition, because it affects the neurons in the part of the brain that controls inhibition. When people are drunk, they may also talk a lot, much of which do not make

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    sense. In addition, their sense of judgment is damaged, so it is difficult for them to judge what is right and what is wrong.

     Teaching Message 5: Alcohol slows down the time for the body to react. Thus, drivers who drink are more likely to cause accidents.

    Because messages are traveling more slowly, it also slows down our reaction time. We will demonstrate this with an activity.

Class Activity: Effect of alcohol on reaction time. Need two students. Have one standing with

    his or her back against the wall. The other should stand about 7 or 8 ft. away with a Nerf ball. Instruct the person with the ball to throw it at the person at the wall. Instruct the person at the wall to get out of the way so she/he doesn’t get hit. Now, instruct the receiver to count 2 seconds before moving when the ball gets thrown at her/him. She/he would get hit. This is what would happen when the person’ reaction time is slowed down by a couple of seconds because of

    drinking.

; Why is it dangerous to get into a car with somebody who has been drinking?

     What if the ball was a car? Drivers with alcohol in their blood are more likely to have accidents because it takes them longer to react to dangerous situations. They could hurt not only themselves but also other people. About 40 percent of all deaths from car crashes were alcohol-related.

     Teaching Message 6: Recreational drugs affect the nervous system to produce a number of effects on sensory and motor activities. Recreational drugs affect the nervous system by slowing down, speeding up, or changing the passing of messages. There are harmful consequences.

    Unlike drugs prescribed by your doctor, recreational drugs are those which people take for fun

    High doses and long-time use could cause death. and are not usually used to treating illnesses. In fact, most are illegal to use. These drugs can act on the nervous system to change a person’s sensations, feelings, thoughts, and so on.

; What are inhalants?

    Inhalants are substances which produce gas vapors that can easily be inhaled through the nose. People use it to get an immediate “high”.

    They are extremely dangerous, because they affect the brain so quickly and strongly that they could cause physical and mental damages before one knows what has happened.

    Inhalants also starve the body of oxygen and force the heart to beat irregularly and more quickly.

    People who use inhalants could also lose their sense of smell, have nausea and nosebleeds.

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    Inhalants could also cause sudden death. Inhalant users could die by suffocation, choking on their own vomit, or having a heart attack.

; Can you name some inhalants?

    Common chemical inhalants include paint solvents, glues, gasoline, white out, and aerosol sprays.

; What population are most at risk of using inhalants and why?

    Young people are most at risk because these substances are readily available around the house and they do not have money to buy other drugs. Because they are so readily accessible, kids often do not think that there is any harm in using products that are legal to begin with.

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    Alcohol and Drug Abuse

    Take Home Messages

    It receives and sends out 1. The nervous system is the command control of our body.

    messages throughout the body.

    2. The functional cell type in our nervous system is the neuron.

    3. Alcohol gets into the blood through the digestion system. It is broken down by the liver.

    4. Alcohol affects the nervous system. It slows down the transmission of messages leading

    to a variety of behavioral changes.

    5. Alcohol slows down the time for the body to react. Thus, drivers who drink are more

    likely to cause accidents.

    6. Recreational drugs affect the nervous system by slowing down, speeding up, or changing

     the passing of messages. There are harmful consequences.

    Glossary

Alcohol abuse: Drink too much alcohol, to the extent that cause damages. Alcohol abuse could

    cause physical damage to the users, behavior harmful to themselves and to others, and impairment of the users’ ability to function socially in the family, in school, with friends, or on the job.

    Brain: a part of the central nervous system, responsible for sensory and motor communications.

Cell body: the nucleus of a nerve cell.

Drug abuse: taking drugs in ways not medically intended.

    Inhalants: chemicals taken in through the nose that produce mind-altering effects. They are extremely dangerous because they act quickly and could cause serious damages without users’ realizing it.

Neuron: a nerve cell.

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