CogniFit's Science blog: Neurons Are An Essential Part Of Life

Neurons Are An Essential Part Of Life

Neurons are cells which perform specialized tasks. They are the basic building blocks of the nervous system. They are similar to other cells in the body but they possess the unique ability to transmit information between them. We will explain more about these cells and what they do.

Neurons can communicate between each other through electrical and chemical processes. There are also several different kinds of neurons which do special tasks. For example sensory neurons can transmit information from sensory receptor cells to the brain. It is these kinds of cells which can allow you to experience the basic senses like touch, smell, taste and sight.

As indicated earlier, neurons are similar to other cells in the body but they also possess unique characteristics and differences. However neurons are like other cells in that they possess a nucleus which carries the genetic information necessary to define what it is.

Neurons also have a protective membrane which surrounds it. And neurons possess components which support the life of the cell. This includes mitochondria, Golgi bodies and cytoplasm.

But neurons also possess very unique characteristics. For example the neurons are believed to stop producing shortly after birth. So there are a fixed number of them. As neurons die they are not replaced. However they can continue to form new connections throughout their lives which help to enhance mental capacity, function and brain fitness.

Neurons have a membrane which allows it to send information to other cells. They possess components which are called axon and dendrites which can transmit and receive information. The connections between neuron cells are called synapses. They also release chemicals called neurotransmitters into the synapses which allow them to communicate with other neurons.

The neuron has three major parts. They include the dendrites, cell body and axon. Depending on the type of neuron, the number of length of the axon and dendrites can vary. But information is passed from cell to cell through the axon and dendrites.

Information is received by the dendrites and transmitted to another neuron by the axon. Both electrical and chemical processes are utilized to make this happen. And neurotransmitters form an essential part of the process to communicate information. Many neurological problems can occur when there is a breakdown in the mechanism of neurotransmitters.

Some diseases impact this mechanism which is why the patients involved suffer neurological disorders and degradation. If the ability of the neurons to communicate with each other is affected, so are important mental functions.

While much of the mechanisms involved with neurons are understood, there is still much to be studied and learned in neuroscience. Extensive research is aimed at improving the function of neurons and helping those affected by breakdowns in structure or communication.