Harun Yahya

The Electrical System of the Body and the Associated Diseases



Diseases give people the opportunity to contemplate life. A person who is sick or who has witnessed sicknesses finds the opportunity to think on creation that he would otherwise not contemplate. Diseases remind us of the fact that certain changes in the flawless creation can produce dire outcomes. The fact that seemingly small disorders or discomforts can have serious consequences is without a doubt a proof of God’s flawless creation.

Our bodies have systems that take precautions against diseases, ensure recovery, and provide backups in case of irreversible situations. These systems can function because both the diseases and precautionary mechanisms are created by the same Creator, our Lord. Coincidences certainly lack the intelligence to take precautions and make plans.

The diseases that have been identified by scientists to date are categorized under the list of World Health Organization named ICD-10.88 This list has 40,000 different diseases categorized under 22 main groups.

In this chapter, we will discuss some of the diseases caused by the instabilities or disruptions in the electrical balance of the body. We will see one more time that even the smallest problem in the flawless systems created by God, can have dire consequences, and that there is no room for coincidences in the creation of our bodies. We will understand how we continue our lives every moment by the grace of God, and witness the art and superior intelligence in God’s creation.

MS Disease



Our readers will recall the myelin sheath of the neurons from the previous pages. This myelin sheath, just like insulation on a cable, wraps around the neuron and increases the speed of electrical transmissions.

MS disease occurs when the myelin sheaths in brain and spinal cord nerves are damaged. This damage causes problems in electrical transmission. Electrical transmission is essential for the communication within the body. Therefore, the MS disease might have various physical, mental or psychiatric effects depending on the area where the disease occurs.

Although the exact cause of this disease is unknown, it is considered an autoimmune disease. In other words, the immune system perceives the myelin sheath as a foreign substance and attacks it. It tries to dispose of the myelin sheath in the same way it cleanses the body from microbes. The autoimmune effect is presumed to occur due to genetic and environmental factors.




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1. Myelin Sheath
2. Nerve Fiber


3. Damaged Myelin
4. Nerve Fiber




On the left, a healthy myelin sheath in the nerves in the brain and the spinal cord, and on the right, a damaged myelin sheath.





Among the symptoms of MS are fatigue, pins-and-needles sensations, numbness, a lack of or reduction in feeling, balance problems, speech impairments, trembling, stiffness hardening of muscles in the arms and legs, weakness, vision defects, oversensitivity to heat, short-term memory problems, and difficulties in judgment and decision-making. These symptoms can vary depending on the region in which nerves have been damaged. Since the brain controls thinking and movement, damage in this region may affect any number of functions—memory, understanding, character, touch, hearing, sight and muscle power.

When damage takes place in the cerebellum, at the rear of the brain, it causes loss of balance during walking and running by affecting coordination. It may lead to weakness in the nerves concerned with vision, speech, swallowing and hearing. Damage in the brain stem can cause functional defects regarding eye movements, respiration, heartbeat, sweating and the excretory system. When the damage is to the spinal column, loss of communication occurs between the body and brain. Moreover, the brain’s signals concerning the legs, hands and other organs are prevented from reaching their destinations. In progressive cases, the disease can lead to partial or total paralysis.

MS disease remains incurable. Treatments only aim to prevent the progression of the disease and relieve the symptoms. The most common treatment method is to suppress the immune system through steroidal medicines, preventing the body from attacking myelin sheaths. In other words, the negative results of MS disease can only be prevented by disrupting the functions of the other healthy systems of the body.

This disease is an important example of the importance of the myelin sheath for our body. In this case, claiming that the myelin sheath, which has a vital role in the neurons, came into existence through a so-called evolutionary process is irrational. In order for people to be able to lead healthy lives and continue living, they have to possess the myelin sheath from the very day they were created.

QT Syndrome






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QT syndrome is an inherited condition involving defects in the potassium channels in the heart, which impairs the heart’s ability to transmit electricity. Those suffering from QT risk sudden death from excessive exercise or even a nightmare.

The heart’s electrical activities need to be simultaneous if the organ is to properly perform all its functions. The body’s natural pacemaker, which regulates the rhythm of the heartbeat, sends an electrical signal to every cardiac cell for their contractions to begin. In order for the heartbeat to occur, the potassium channels must open and the potassium ions have to be permitted to leave the cell. In QT syndrome, however, as a result of functional defects in these channels, the cells’ acquisition of electrical properties for the next beat is delayed. When the heart is stimulated excessively by emotion or exercise, the defective channels don’t allow enough potassium to depart, and this electrical irregularity can lead to the sudden death.

The Atrioventricular Node: The Heart’S Spare Generator






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1. Hypothalamus
2. SA node
3. Vagus nerve
4. Medulla


5. Heart regulation center
6. AV node
7. Heart nerves




The waves of energy that cause the heart to work is initiated by the cell group known as the SA node, and pass, with the help of the artery muscle, to the AV node, and from there to the right and left fibers. A special electrical system ensures these processes. By the will of our Lord, this electrical wave fulfils a vital function in our bodies.





It is exceedingly important that the heartbeat be rhythmical. Defects of the electrical current in the cells alter the starting time and speed of the signal. A signal that begins too early will cause the heart to beat prematurely or else cause an insufficient contraction. In the same way, electrical signals that are slowed down or accelerated will result in a delayed heartbeat, or one that does not take place at all, leading to various heart disorders.

From that point of view, both the functioning of the heart and its design must be flawless. Reserve systems in the heart permit this important rhythm to be discharged without interruption.

As well as slowing down the electric current and regulating the heartbeat and pumping blood to the body, the AV node has the vital function of acting like a reserve generator to replace the main one if anything goes wrong with it. If the SA node is damaged, the AV node takes over the task of regulating the heartbeat’s rhythm. But this spare generator cannot produce signals as strong as those from the original power source—only 40 to 50 signals a minute. But the signals it does produce are still enough to keep the heart working. Indeed, people have been known to live for 20 years even though their heart’s SA node has failed to work for some reason.89

No doubt the presence of such a system in the body shows that it is the work of a Creator possessed of intellect and consciousness. That consciousness and intellect are those of our Almighty Lord Who created the heavens and Earth.

... Do you not know that God has power over all things? Do you not know that God is He to Whom the kingdom of the heavens and the Earth belongs and that, besides God, you have no protector and no helper? (Surat al-Baqara, 106-107)

 

ALS Disease






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Stephen Hawking, an ALS sufferer, uses an electrically-operated wheelchair to move about and a speech device controlled by his jaw muscles to communicate. At the cellular level, even the slightest damage can lead to serious disorders affecting the entire body. There is no doubt that this disease leads us to ponder on God’s mercy on us.





ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is one of those diseases that dramatize the effect of the nervous system on the muscles. In 90% of the cases, the disease cause cannot be diagnosed. And the remaining 10% is thought to be caused by genetic factors or traumas.

A neuropathic disease, the ALS is known as the disease that the world-renowned English scientist Stephen Hawking suffers from. The disease causes degeneration in the motor neurons (motor movement nerve cells), which regulates locomotion. It does this by traveling from the brain to the spinal cord, and from there to the muscles. When the nerves that trigger muscles are impaired, the muscles cannot be stimulated. As a result, patients lose their speech and movement functions in a short time. Starting with the weakening of the arm and leg muscles, and gradually affecting speech, chewing and respiratory functions, the disease can reach a fatal stage depending on its impact on the respiratory muscles.

Stephen Hawking, currently uses an electrical wheelchair to able to move and a speech devise that is controlled by chin muscles to be able to speak. Another patient, despite the total loss of control over his muscles, communicates with the outside world through manipulation of an alphabet by eye movements to spell words since his eye muscles have not yet been affected by the disease.

No doubt ALS by itself reveals the vital importance of our motor nervous system—which we never reflect upon until we encounter a disease of this kind. Normally working perfectly without our even thinking about it, the nervous system is one of the countless examples of God’s mercy on us. Our duty is to appreciate Him and give thanks for the blessings He has created:

God shows favor to humanity, but most of them are not thankful. (Surat an-Naml, 73)




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1. Superior Parietal Lobule
4. Inferior Parietal Lobule
2. Image of Body
3. Motor Cortex
5. Target
6. Estimation
7. Control of “Movement Plan”
8. Cerebellum
9. Estimating “The Image Of The Organ ”
10. Movement Commands
11. Feedback For Learning And Determining Errors

 

When you decide to lift your glass to your lips, the brain sends a contraction signal to your biceps, contracting the arm. At the same time, the triceps at the back of the upper arm must expand to let the arm bend. The biceps is sent a command to contract and the cells that straighten the arm are commanded to halt! Thus the arm approaches the mouth. These systems, over which we have no control at all, are a reminder that we live in need of our Lord.

God is “rich beyond need” (Surah Luqman, 12) and the One Who “has power over all things” (Surat al-Baqara, 20).

There are more than 650 skeletal muscles in the body, which contract in order to close the joints and cause the bones to move. However, all these movements take place as the result of an extraordinary co-ordination in the body.





Parkinson’s Disease



The intensity and length of time the chemical messenger remains at the synapse gap directly influences the communication between two neurons. There is a different mechanism for each chemical messenger. Some messengers are dispersed into their surroundings after handing on the message they bear. Others are broken down by special enzymes. For instance, a special enzyme turns the messenger molecule acetylcholine into choline and acetate.

There is yet another marvelous mechanism in nerve cells. Some of the messengers that transmit the message to the receptor cells are collected again by the providing cell and stored at the synapse for use in subsequent communications. This process is performed by a number of special molecules. For example, the activities of the molecules dopamine and serotonin are regulated in this way. If we consider the great efforts presently being made to recycle waste products, the efficiency of the nerve cells’ recycling mechanism can be better understood.

Each stage of this chemical communication depends on the most delicate balances. The messenger molecules employed for every communication, and the proteins and enzymes that serve in the various phases of that communication, are all specifically determined. However, many details of these communications are still unknown.

Parkinson’s disease impairs coordination between the muscles, makes movements difficult and causes trembling. The cause of this disease is an imbalance between the messenger molecules dopamine and acetylcholine. Some nerve cells in the brain produce less dopamine than is required, leading to a loss of muscle control. This is a fairly new discovery, and earned Professor Arvid Carlsson the 2000 Nobel Prize for Medicine.

One method employed to treat this disease is the transmission of electrical signals to the brain: Batteries implanted in the patient to stimulate nerves increasingly reduce these cells’ insensitivity. In this method, known as Deep Brain Stimulation, DBS, a battery-like device sends electrical signals via one of the 100 billion neurons in the brain and triggers the release of chemicals like serotonin or dopamine. This action encourages neighboring cells to send new electrical impulses to other neurons.

But doctors have to be exceptionally careful when implanting the DBS device. A misalignment of just a few millimeters (a few inches) can result in very different results, such as depression.

But in almost all healthy individuals, this system works to perfection without requiring any intervention as to which molecules are to be released, when and in what quantities. The nerve cells’ communication system once again confirms a manifest truth. These delicate balances and complex mechanisms in question cannot have come into being through consecutive chance events. It is God, the Almighty and Omniscient, Who creates them, gives them to our service and takes them back when He so chooses.




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1. Synapse
2. Nucleus
3. Nerve cell
4. Electrical impulse
5. Dendrite
6. Brain shell
7. Serotonin Circle


8. Brain
9. Raphe nuelei
10. Serotonin
11. Receptor
12. Synapse
13. Nerve impulse
14. Collecting Carrier




Serotonin is produced in the Raphe nuclei of special nerve cells in the brain stem, and is subsequently transported to the nerve endings in the brain and spinal cord.




A. Serotonin is stored in tiny sacs at the ends of nerve cells.

B. The electrical impulse sets into motion the membrane at the nerve ending and causes these sacs to release the neurotransmitter—serotonin.

C. The serotonin molecules released into the intracellular gaps, or synapses, bind to receptors on the surface of the other cell.

D. When the serotonin’s task is completed, the receptors release the molecules, which are either broken down or stored for use later.





Muscle Weakness: Myasthenia Gravis



Myasthenia gravis is a disease that causes weakness in the muscles. It mainly affects the voluntary muscles, which consequently affects eyes, face, and swallowing.90 Similar to MS, it is also an autoimmune disease. It occurs when body mistakenly attacks the muscles’ movement receptors. Messages are transferred to the muscles through acetylcholine chemicals. And this disease harms the receptors that detect acetylcholine. Due to impaired receptors, the muscles become unable to receive movement messages.91

While the disease does not have any known cure, medicines that suppress the immune system and enhance the neural transmission are administered to alleviate the symptoms.

Due to impaired muscle receptors, even though the muscles, the nervous system, all the systems that allow the brain and the body to move remain functional, the bodily movements become restricted. This disease inarguably proves that all the systems must function completely and perfectly for the human body to be able to move flawlessly.




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1. Neuron
2. Muscle


3. Neuromuscular junction
4. Impairment of the neuromuscular junction (Myasthenia Gravis)





Epilepsy



Epilepsy is also a disease that occurs in the nervous system. It has a direct effect on the electrical system of the body, and causes shaking and seizures. The uncontrollable contractions can even lead to bone fractures.

Seizures occur in cases when the electrical signals in the brain exceed normal levels. Excessive electrical discharges affect the surrounding neurons and muscles, causing involuntary movements.

The disorder is believed to be caused by head traumas, strokes, birth defects or mineral imbalances.92

Considering that there are 86 billion93 neurons in the brain, it is a miracle that in normal conditions, the neurons function in relative isolation from each other without causi ng uncontrolled electrical discharges in the brain or nervous system, is a miracle. Epileptic attacks help us contemplate what might happen when the flawless electrical order is disrupted, a blessing we tend to take for granted.








Epileptic attacks are caused by the excessive and abnormal activity of the neurons located in the region of the brain called cerebral cortex (the outer layer of the cerebrum).





 


Footnotes



88. http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd10/browse/2016/en

89. Marshall Cavendish, Op. cit., pp. 74-75.

90. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/myasthenia-gravis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

91. http://www.webmd.com/brain/understanding-myasthenia-gravis-basics

92. http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/guide/epilepsy-causes

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