News tagged with nerve fibers

Related topics: white matter , nerve cells , brain cells , central nervous system , multiple sclerosis

How the brain strings words into sentences

(Medical Xpress) -- Distinct neural pathways are important for different aspects of language processing, researchers have discovered, studying patients with language impairments caused by neurodegenerative ...

Nov 24, 2011
popularity 4.7 / 5 (7) | comments 5 | with audio podcast

The healing power of hydrogen peroxide

New information has come to light explaining how injured skin cells and touch-sensing nerve fibers coordinate their regeneration during wound healing. UCLA researchers Sandra Rieger and Alvaro Sagasti found that a chemical ...

May 24, 2011
popularity 4.3 / 5 (7) | comments 1 | with audio podcast

Finding unseen damage of traumatic brain injury

The soldier on the fringes of an explosion. The survivor of a car wreck. The football player who took yet another skull-rattling hit. Too often, only time can tell when a traumatic brain injury will leave ...

Mar 02, 2012
popularity 5 / 5 (5) | comments 3

Axon

An axon or nerve fiber is a long, slender projection of a nerve cell, or neuron, that conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron's cell body or soma.

An axon is one of two types of protoplasmic protrusions that extrude from the cell body of a neuron, the other type being dendrites. Axons are distinguished from dendrites by several features, including shape (dendrites often taper while axons usually maintain a constant radius), length (dendrites are restricted to a small region around the cell body while axons can be much longer), and function (dendrites usually receive signals while axons usually transmit them). All of these rules have exceptions, however.

Some types of neurons have no axon—these are called amacrine cells, and transmit signals from their dendrites. No neuron ever has more than one axon; however in invertebrates such as insects the axon sometimes consists of several regions that function more or less independently of each other. Most axons branch, in some cases very profusely.

Axons make contact with other cells—usually other neurons but sometimes muscle or gland cells—at junctions called synapses. At a synapse, the membrane of the axon closely adjoins the membrane of the target cell, and special molecular structures serve to transmit electrical or electrochemical signals across the gap. Some synaptic junctions appear partway along an axon as it extends—these are called en passant ("in passing") synapses. Other synapses appear as terminals at the ends of axonal branches. A single axon, with all its branches taken together, can innervate multiple parts of the brain and generate thousands of synaptic terminals.

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