Skip to main content

10 Fascinating Facts about the Nervous System

Nerves and the nervous system are truly fascinating! Here are 10 super-interesting facts about your nervous system.

  1. The nervous system can transmit signals at speeds of 328 feet (100 meters) per second, more than 8 times faster than the top speed of Usain Bolt.

  2. Alpha lipoic acid was discovered in 1937 and has been investigated since 1999 (over 20 years!) for nerve health.

  3. Every square inch of your skin contains around 1,300 pain receptors but only about 100 receptors for pressure, 40 for cold and 6 for warmth.

  4. Vitamin B1 was the first of the neurotropic B vitamins to be discovered in 1897 by Dutch physician and pathologist Christiaan Eijkman, who was researching the causes of beriberi. Eijkman was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1929 for his research around vitamin B1.

  5. In the peripheral nervous system, nerve cells can be threadlike—their width is microscopic, but their length can be measured in feet.

  6. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can inhibit myelin formation, and vitamin B12 supplementation is a commonly known therapy to help re-myelination.

  7. The size of the nervous system ranges from a few hundred cells in the simplest worms, to around 300 billion cells in African elephants.

  8. B vitamins must be replenished daily as they are only stored in the body in a very small amount.

  9. Ouch! Our forehead and fingertips are the most sensitive to pain because of their greater density of nerve fibers which react to a pain trigger.

  10. The myelin sheath is responsible for increasing the speed of nerve impulses by 15 times. Without the myelin sheath, the speed is only 0.5-10 meters per second, whereas with the myelin sheath the speed is around 150 meters per second.