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Physiology of the Neuron.doc

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University of Ottawa
Anatomy and Physiology
Jacqueline Carnegie

Physiology of the Neuron Neuronsalso called nerve cells they are the structural unit of the nervous system highly specialized cells that conduct messages in the form of nerve impulses from one part of the body to another the 3 functional regions are the receptive region conducting region and the secretory region Special Characteristics1 Extreme Longevitywith good nutrition neurons can function optimally for a lifetime 2 Amitoticneurons lose their ability to divide as they assume their roles as communicating links of the nervous system3 High Metabolic Raterequires abundant supplies of oxygen and glucose and cannot survive more than a few minutes without oxygen Neuron Cell Bodyconsists of a spherical nucleus with a nucleolus surrounded by cytoplasm also called perikaryon or somabiosynthetic centre of a neuron rough ER is known as Nissl bodies chromatophilic substance or mitochondria are scattered among the other organelles elaborate Golgi cell body is the focal point for outgrowth of neuron processes nuclei clusters of cell bodes in the CNSganglia cell bodies that lie along the nerves in the PNS Processesarmlike processes extend from the cell body of all neuronsthe PNS contains mostly of neuron processesbundles of processes are called tracts in the CNS and nerves in the PNS the 2 types of processes are dendrites and axons Dendritesthe main receptive or input regionsprovide enormous surface area for receiving signals from other neurons convey incoming messages toward the cell bodycarry graded shortdistance signals or graded potentials
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