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What are the components and functions of the SNS, ANS and ENS?

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anat-n-phys | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 21, 2013 at 11:34 PM via web

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What are the components and functions of the SNS, ANS and ENS?

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted April 22, 2013 at 4:37 AM (Answer #1)

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These are all different parts of the nervous system. The ANS is the autonomic nervous system. It is located in the medulla oblongata in the brain and is responsible for things like breathing, the beating of the heart, and other reflex functions like swallowing and coughing. It controls functions that require little to no conscious thought to make happen.

The SNS is a subset of the ANS and it stands for the sympathetic nervous system. It promotes the body's fight or flight response, where stress applied to the body brings on certain reflex actions to compensate. The SNS can increase heart rate, constrict blood vessels, dilate the bronchioles in the lungs, and activate sweat glands to cause the body to perform at a higher level under stress.

The ENS is another part of the ANS and stands for the enteric nervous system. It controls the gastrointestinal system, the stomach and intestines. There is an entire network of neurons in the lining of this system that allows the system to function autonomously.

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