Neuron

Picture of a neuron

Illustration copyright 2000 by Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com

A neuron is a nerve cell. Neurons send information to and from your brain to the rest of your body. A neuron is made up of:

  • A cell body. This is where the nucleus is.
  • Dendrites. The dendrites receive signals from other neurons.
  • A long, thin axon. The axon is covered by a myelin sheath. The axon passes information to the next neuron or other cell in the body.
  • A myelin sheath. Your nerve cells have a protective covering called myelin. Without myelin, the brain and spinal cord can't communicate with the nerves in the rest of the body.

There are different types of neurons. Sensory neurons send information from your senses (for example, touch or hearing) to your brain. Motor neurons send signals from the brain to the muscles.

Last Updated: February 18, 2010

Author: Monica Rhodes

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology

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