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Q: What region of the chord does a parasympathetic fiber originate?
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Sympathetic responses are more widespread because of the way the efferent nerves (from spinal cord outward) are positioned. The autonomic system has two neurons between its spinal cord and the organ that it is modulating whereas the somatic system has only one. The difference between the sympathetic and the parasympathetic is that in the case of sympathetic, the first nerve out of the spinal cord, called the preganglionic fiber is extremely short and ends relatively close to the spinal cord. Here, the preganglionic fiber synapses with on average of 10 postganglionic fibers which then moves onto effect a variety of different organs. On the other hand, in the parasympathetic division the preganglionic nerve are extremely long and extends until it is almost at the organ. From there, it synapses with a very short post-synaptic nerve that then synapses an organ. The ratio in this case can be about 1:3 but usually is 1:1. To sum things up, in the sympathetic division, the preganglionic fiber terminates very early and therefore has the "opportunity" to interact with a variety of nerves. On the other hand, the parasympathetic division has such a long preganglionic fiber that by the time it synapses its post ganglionic fiber, it is pretty much at the organ. NE and epinephrine are secreted into the blood as part of the sympathetic response.

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