Train with Dr. Dendristein to become a mad scientist and build your own monster neuron.
The brain of most mammals contains between 100 million and 100 billion neurons! Every neuron has specific parts that serve a function. To understand what is a neuron the best way is to look at its makeup and the different parts of a neuron.
The Cell Body: This part of the cell includes the nucleus and cytoplasm.
The nucleus of a cell contains the genetic material (chromosomes).
The Axon: This part of the cell extends out from the cell body and usually ends in a series of branches.
The Dendrite: The part of the cell also extends out from the cell body and its job is to receive messages from other neurons. They look a little bit spiky. The dendrite is covered in synapses.
The Synapses: This part of the cell is where the dendrite forms connections with the axons from other cells, allowing cells to transmit messages across the synapses.
Myelin Sheath: Many axons are covered by something known as myelin. Myelin is made from special cells known as glia. Glia are very important! They transport nutrients to our neurons, they clean up debris, they digest dead matter and they help hold neurons in position. But, one of the most important jobs of the glia in the myelin sheath is to strengthen and protect the axon, making transmission of messages between neurons faster and stronger.
When our neurons want to send or receive a message to one another, they use electrical impulses! They send the electrical impulse along the axon and then it travels into the dendrite of another neuron across the point of connection called the synapse.
Today Hank kicks off our look around MISSION CONTROL: your nervous system.
What do you and a sack of batteries have in common? Today, Hank explains.
We continue our tour of the nervous system with a look at synapses and the crazy stuff cocaine does to your body.
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