Vagus Nerve: 'the internet of the body'

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"The vagus or tenth cranial nerve is in charge of all the major body organs. Professor Owen Epstein at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, England has called this nerve "the internet of the brain". The word vagus is Latin for wanderer. This cranial nerve extends beyond the head and neck to all the major chest (thoracic) and abdominal organs. These include lungs, heart, digestive tract esophagus through large intestine spleen, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, and kidneys. It controls many of the muscles that are involved in swallowing and vocalization. The vagus is crucial in the proper function of these organs, including pain regulation, digestion, heart rate, immunity, and stress responses. It is the major source of parasympathetic nerves which are described as the "rest, digest and recover" portion of the nervous system.
The nervous system is highly organized and elegant. The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS). Nerves branching off from the spinal cord become the peripheral nerves which control activity and sensation throughout the body. Within the CNS are twelve nerves called the cranial nerves. These originate in the brain and extend through openings in the skull (called foramina) to control various body structures. All but the tenth of these twelve control muscles and sensation in the face and neck."

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