Promoting axon regeneration in the zebrafish spinal cord

After an injury to the spinal cord, patients often remain paralyzed because damaged nerve tracts do not regrow due to the formation of scar tissue. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, ...

Beetle larvae think with a brain 'under construction'

In the human brain, hundreds of billions of nerve cells are interconnected in the most complicated way, and only when these interconnections are correctly made, can the brain function properly. This is no different for insects, ...

A hydrogel that could help repair damaged nerves

Injuries to peripheral nerves—tissues that transmit bioelectrical signals from the brain to the rest of the body—often result in chronic pain, neurologic disorders, paralysis or disability. Now, researchers have developed ...

The surprising organisation of avian brains

Birds and mammals have the largest brains in relation to their body. Apart from that, however, they have little in common, according to scientific opinion since the 19th century: mammalian brains have a neocortex, i.e. a ...

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Neuron

A neuron (pronounced /ˈnjʊərɒn/ N(Y)OOR-on, also known as a neurone or nerve cell) is an excitable cell in the nervous system that processes and transmits information by electrochemical signalling. Neurons are the core components of the brain, the vertebrate spinal cord, the invertebrate ventral nerve cord, and the peripheral nerves. A number of specialized types of neurons exist: sensory neurons respond to touch, sound, light and numerous other stimuli affecting cells of the sensory organs that then send signals to the spinal cord and brain. Motor neurons receive signals from the brain and spinal cord and cause muscle contractions and affect glands. Interneurons connect neurons to other neurons within the same region of the brain or spinal cord. Neurons respond to stimuli, and communicate the presence of stimuli to the central nervous system, which processes that information and sends responses to other parts of the body for action. Neurons do not go through mitosis, and usually cannot be replaced after being destroyed, although astrocytes have been observed to turn into neurons as they are sometimes pluripotent.

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