Human Anatomy and Physiology : Help with Sympathetic Preganglionic Physiology

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Human Anatomy and Physiology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Help With Sympathetic Preganglionic Physiology

Which of the following is a feature of the sympathetic nervous system?

Possible Answers:

Some sympathetic fibers pass through the paravertebral ganglia of the sympathetic trunk; other sympathetic fibers synapse there

Sympathetic fibers exit the spinal cord by dorsal roots of spinal nerves

Some sympathetic fibers leave the central nervous system (CNS) by specific cranial nerves

Sympathetic stimulation causes dilation of blood vessels in the skin of the back and limbs

Correct answer:

Some sympathetic fibers pass through the paravertebral ganglia of the sympathetic trunk; other sympathetic fibers synapse there

Explanation:

The sympathetic nervous system is one of two divisions of the autonomic nervous system; it is responsible for the "fight or flight" response and is involved in homeostasis. Some sympathetic fibers pass through the paravertebral ganglia of the sympathetic trunk, while other sympathetic fibers synapse there.

Parasympathetic nerves are associated with cranial nerves, and the dilation of blood vessels in skin of the back and limbs (the sympathetic system constricts these vessels). Preganglionic neurons originate in the thoracolumbar region of the spinal cord (T2 to L1) then travel to a paravertebral ganglion or prevertebral ganglion, where they synapse with a postganglionic neruon. The paravertebral ganglion are found throughout the length of the spinal cord, including the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral areas. 

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