How Does the Central Nervous System Protect Itself from Injury?
The central nervous system is better protected than any other system or organ in the body. Its main line of defense is the bones of the skull and spinal column, which create a hard physical barrier to injury. A fluid-filled space below the bones, called the syrnix, provides shock absorbance. Unfortunately, this protection can be a double-edged sword. When an injury to the CNS occurs, the soft tissue of the brain and cord swells, causing pressure because of the confined space. The swelling makes the injury worse unless it is rapidly relieved. Fractured bones can lead to further damage and the possibility of infection.