parasympathetic nervous system

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Definition - What does parasympathetic nervous system mean?

The parasympathetic nervous system is an interconnected network of nerve fibre bundles, or neurons, within the brain, which serves as the locus for transmitting bioelectric impulses throughout the body. The parasympathetic nervous system operates interdependently with the sympathetic nervous system, forming the complementary unit called the autonomic nervous system, which is tasked with maintaining homeostasis within the body.

SureHire explains parasympathetic nervous system

The parasympathetic nervous system contributes to the neuromuscular apparatus related to several organs and their physiological effects including bladder excretion, controlled respiration, enzymatic digestion, glandular secretion (i.e., saliva), pupil constriction, and regulatory heart rate. Designated sets of cranial nerves in the brain trigger the interplay between the parasympathetic nervous system and sympathetic nervous system to cooperate in delivering messages to different organs of the body necessary to human survival. However, pathological conditions can interfere with the parasympathetic nervous system, often compelling physicians to evaluate individuals for parasympathetic nervous system anomalies as an index to determine relative health factors based on systemic disruption.

According to the American Heart Association, relative heart rate (RHR) accounts for a definitive benchmark to gauge the parasympathetic nervous system's functionality, with the vagus nerve channeling neurons throughout the body to mediate intramuscular activity in organs.

An RHR within the median range plays off several physiological variables including fitness level, blood pressure, body weight composition, cholesterol (blood fats), comparatively weighing health risks against high RHR disparities, secondary to parasympathetic nervous system dysfunction. A sound check of the parasympathetic nervous system requires monitoring RHR fluctuations where chronic anxiety and persistent work stress induce the heart muscle to compensate for irregular blood flow. Additionally, it is imperative to consult a physician who can interpret parasympathetic nervous system data tailored around different organs, documenting abnormalities via biofeedback that might suggest underlying health conditions, for example, cardiovascular disease.

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