What is a Neuron – An easy explanation

Getting information about the brain function is not that hard but it is hard to understand everything and since I am not a medical man it is even harder for me. I have read a couple of articles and mostly after reading the introduction I didn’t get the topic afterwards. But I stop complaining right now and start to wrap it all up a little more understandable. I mentioned it already in another article that the brain consists of approximately 100 billion neurons and every single cell has got several connections. But what is a neuron and how about its basic function?

The Neuron

Researchers found that only 10 percent of the brain is made up of neurons. The other 90 percent are more or less glial cells which support the neurons. The glial cells hold each neuron on its place and moreover they support them with oxygen or they take away dead neurons. 

The neurons itself consist of a cell body, called the Soma. From the Soma – the cell body – lots of Dendrites grow away. These dendrites make the cell appear more like a tree, which is to say, they are basically the branches of the cell body. An Axon which looks like a string is connected with one end to the Soma (the cell body) and with the other end to the Axon terminal. Both the Axon terminal and the Dendrites look like branches of a tree. On top of these branches are the synapses located who virtually pass or receive an electro-chemical impulse – the chemicals are known as neurotransmitters. 

Generally spoken the dendrites act as the receivers for electro-chemical impulses and the Axon terminal as the sender of an electro-chemical impulse. And the already mentioned string, the Axon, connects the sender and the receiver in order to make the signal processible for the cell body, the Soma. Furthermore the Axon can grow up to one foot in length.

The Link to your Body

The connection between your brain and your body is due to spinal cortex which enables your brain send out information in order to make you move your limbs and also to receive certain sensations as temperature, touch or pain. Vision, hearing and I guess also smelling is directly connected to the brain. For that reason you can be completely paralyzed and still process visuals and sounds.