The significant difference between these two is that the nervous system uses electrical signals or impulses to send the signals through neurons, while the Endocrine system uses hormones acting as the chemical messenger to send signals to the target cell through the blood stream in the body.
However, both are the regulatory system allows the communication between the tissue, organs, and cells. These systems have the responsibility to control and coordinate the signals given to the body, internally or externally. This regulation helps in maintaining the homeostasis and other activities of the system.
It is important to know that both the system are regulated by the negative feedback mechanism. Though their mode of transfer and time differs but chemical messengers plays a major role in both the systems.
Content: Nervous System Vs Endocrine System
|Basis for Comparison||Nervous System||Endocrine System|
|Definition||The complicated network of nerves that carry messages or signals from and to the spinal cord and brain to other parts of the body.||The collection of glands, which produces hormones, function in regulating the body's growth and development, metabolism, tissue function, reproduction, sleep, anger, emotions and other internal functions. They work in sending signals to various parts of the body with the help of hormones and act as the chemical messenger.
|The rate of response||The nervous system shows the quick response to the stimuli, by the action potentials and neurotransmitters.||The endocrine system responds slowly by secreting hormones, traveling through the circulatory system to the target tissue.
|Kind of response||Localised response.||The response is spread widely.|
|Duration of response||Temporary and reversible.||Permanent response.|
|Mode of transmission of signal||Neurotransmitters along neurons transmit electrochemical signals.||Hormones are the kind of chemical signals used to transmit the signal to the target tissue through the blood stream of other body fluid.
|Signals are transmitted by||The neurons.||The hormones flow through the blood stream or other body fluid.|
Definition of Nervous System
One of the most important system of the body, which responds to the stimuli by sending the electrical signal along the neurons, and then these electrical signals or action potentials are transmitted to the target cells with the use of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are said to be the chemical messenger of the nervous system.
The primary control system of the body is the nervous system only. The nervous system is made up of numerous nerve cells, which are found in the brain. Likewise the nervous system, the spinal cord plays the important part in transmitting the signals. The spinal cord work as the main path, from where these electrical signal transmitted from the brain to the outer part of the body.
The nervous system is divided into two parts- the Central nervous system (CNS) and Peripheral nervous system(PNS). The Central nervous system includes the brain and the spinal cord, although the peripheral nervous system consists of the Autonomic and Somatic nervous systems.
The brain is situated in the skull, and its shape looks like a mushroom. It weighs approximately 1.3 to 1.4 kg, having the neurons and the glia. The neurons are the nerve cell, and glia is the supporting cell. The brain is further is divided into four parts: the cerebrum, the cerebellum, the brain stem, and the diencephalon.
The Spinal Cord is the tube like structure, composed of the series of the 31 segments and each segment contains the pair of spinal nerves. The motor nerve and the sensory nerve are located in the region of the spinal cord only. The spinal cord is the collection of bones (back bones) and weighs up to 35-40 gram. It measures around 43 cm in length.
In case of the Peripheral nervous system (PNS), the autonomic or involuntary nervous system regulates the processes like the breathing rate, the blood pressure, on the other hand, the somatic or voluntary nervous system connects the brain and the spinal cord with the sensory receptors and muscles in the skin, with the help of the nerves.
Nervous system helps in taking the quick decision, and how to respond to the different things, it controls the emotions also. This all works through the electrical signals that run through out the body from the brain.
Although the nerve disorders result in functional difficulties and result in the condition like Epilepsy, Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington’s disease and other vascular disorders such as subarachnoid hemorrhage, transient ischemic attack, and stroke.
Definition of Endocrine System
It is the network of glands that secrete chemicals in response to the stimuli. Hence hormones are called as the chemical messenger. The endocrine system depends on hormones to evoke the response from the target cells. These hormones are secreted by special glands at near-by or distant from their target cells and then gradually travel through the blood or other intercellular fluid.
As said earlier, this process takes a long time to respond, as hormones are first synthesized, ultimately sent to the target cell, and then it performs its function inside the cell. In simple language, they provide the signal to the cell of the target part, and the action remains for a long period.
All the glands are the part of an endocrine system only, which includes: Hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroids and parathyroid glands, pineal gland and the pituitary glands are some of the important parts of the endocrine system, present in the head portion of the body. The pancreas, kidneys and the adrenal glands are found in the stomach part while the ovaries and the testes are present in the abdominal part of the body.
By maintaining the functions of the organs present in the body, these glands help in regulating the homeostasis. For example, the growth hormone secreted by the pituitary gland are responsible the growth of the body, especially during childhood, but along with that heart rate, breathing, cellular metabolism is also maintained simultaneously.
Key differences Between Nervous System and Endocrine System
Following are the points to distinguish the nervous system to that of the endocrine system:
- Nervous system can be defined as the complicated network of nerves that carry messages or signals from and to the spinal cord and brain to other parts of the body, whereas Endocrine system is the collection of glands, which produces hormones, function in regulating the body’s growth and development, metabolism, tissue function, reproduction, sleep, anger, emotions and other internal functions. They primarily work in sending signals to various parts of the body with the help of hormones and act as the chemical messenger.
- The rate of response of the nervous system is fast and early to the stimuli, by the action potentials and neurotransmitters, while the endocrine system responds slowly by secreting hormones, travelling through the circulatory system to the target tissue.
- The nervous system creates the localized response which is temporary and reversible, while the endocrine system response is spread widely and is permanent.
- Mode of transmission of the signal in the nervous system is through the neurotransmitters which along neurons transmit electrochemical signals, but in a case of the endocrine system, the hormones provide the chemical signals are used to transmit the signal to the target tissue located at any part of the body.
- Signals are sent by use of neurons in the nervous system, these are the electrical signals, while in an endocrine system the hormones are transferred through the blood stream or other body fluid to send any messages or signals.
We can say that both the systems are used to give signals to the internal body parts, both types use the source as brain but in different ways, the one (nervous system) respond quickly to the stimuli, while the another (endocrine system) send their signals using different pathway and slowly as compared to the nervous system.
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Rhys Spade says