Neuron

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Picture of a neuron

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. The axons have a protective covering called myelin. Without myelin, the brain and spinal cord can't communicate with each other or 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.

Current as of: November 19, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine