Neuron Anatomy

Printer Friendly

The human body is made up of trillions of cells. Cells of the central nervous system (CNS) are called neurons. Neurons are electrically excitable cells in the central nervous system (CNS) that process and transmit information. They communicate with each other via chemical and electrical synapses, in a process known as synaptic transmission. Neurons are the core components of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, and the human brain has approximately 100 billion of them.

Neurons are the oldest and longest cells in the body. Unlike many of the other types of cells in your body, you have many of the same neurons for your whole life.

Neurons come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the smallest neurons have cell bodies that are just 4 microns* wide. The largest ones have cell bodies that are 100 microns* wide. Some of them, such as corticospinal neurons or primary afferent neurons, can be several feet long.

*micron=1/1000 millimeter.

If you would like to learn more about neuron anatomy and how they function in the human body, ask your doctor or nurse. He or she may be able to provide you with additional information.