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The central nervous system controls most functions of the body and mind. It consists of two parts: the brain and the spinal cord. The brain is the center of our thoughts, the interpreter of our external environment, and the origin of control over body movement. The spinal cord is the highway for communication between the body and the brain. When the spinal cord is injured, the exchange of information between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted. Most systems and organs of the body control just one function, but the central nervous system does many jobs at the same time. It controls all voluntary movement, such as speech and walking, and involuntary movements, such as blinking and breathing. It is also the core of our thoughts, perceptions, and emotions. 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 central nervous system occurs, the soft tissue of the brain and spinal 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.