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Neuron | Research Articles
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Neuron

Cells within the systema nervosum, called neurons, communicate with one another in unique ways. The neuron is that the basic working unit of the brain, a specialized cell designed to transmit information to other nerve cells, muscle, or gland cells. Neurons are cells within the systema nervosum that transmit information to other nerve cells, muscle, or gland cells. Most neurons have a cell body, an axon, and dendrites. The cell body contains the nucleus and cytoplasm. The axon extends from the cell body and sometimes gives rise to several smaller branches before ending at nerve terminals. Dendrites extend from the neuron cell body and receive messages from other neurons. Synapses are the contact points where one neuron communicates with another. The dendrites are covered with synapses formed by the ends of axons from other neurons. When neurons receive or send messages, they transmit electrical impulses along their axons, which may home in length from a small fraction of an in. (or centimeter) to 3 feet (about one meter) or more. Many axons are covered with a layered medullary sheath, which accelerates the transmission of electrical signals along the axon. This sheath is formed by specialized cells called glia. Within the brain, the glias that make the sheath are called oligodendrocytes, and within the peripheral systema nervosum, they're referred to as Schwann cells.