6. Nervous system

Cells of the nervous system 

Two basic types of cells are present in the nervous system; 

  • Neurons
  • Glial cells


Neurons, or nerve cell, are the main structural and functional units of the nervous system. Every neuron consists of a body (soma) and a number of processes (neurites). The nerve cell body contains the cellular organelles and is where neural impulses (action potentials) are generated. The processes stem from the body, they connect neurons with each other and with other body cells, enabling the flow of neural impulses. There are two types of neural processes that differ in structure and function; 

  • Axons are long and conduct impulses away from the neuronal body. 
  • Dendrites are short and act to receive impulses from other neurons, conducting the electrical signal towards the nerve cell body.

Every neuron has a single axon, while the number of dendrites varies. Based on that number, there are four structural types of neurons; multipolar, bipolar, pseudounipolar and unipolar. 

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