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Chapter: The Massage Connection ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY : Nervous System

Factors that Affect Neural Function

Other factors that affect neuronal functioning are the changes in the extracellular environment and the metabolic demands of the neuron.

FACTORS THAT AFFECT NEURAL FUNCTION

Other factors that affect neuronal functioning are the changes in the extracellular environment and the metabolic demands of the neuron. Neurons are very sensitive to pH. If the pH becomes too high (more al-kaline), they start discharging action potentials spon-taneously. If the pH becomes too low, the opposite happens and the nervous system shuts down.

As can be expected, fluctuating levels of ions, espe-cially sodium, potassium, and calcium, have a marked effect on impulse production. Similarly, an increase in body temperature makes neurons more excitable.

Neurons require energy for manufacturing neuro-transmitters and for maintaining ionic composition. They can be easily injured if metabolic demands are not met.


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