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an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information through chemical and electrical signals


system that consists of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral ganglia.

the cell body (soma), dendrites, axon

What are the 3 parts of a neuron?


the central part of the neuron


cellular extensions with many branches, and metaphorically this overall shape and structure is referred to as a tree.


where the majority of input to the neuron occurs


where a majority of the output of information occurs


The ___ carries nerve signals away from the soma down to the ___ terminal where the synapse is located.


The __ is surrounded by the myelin sheath.

myelin sheath

acts as an insulator for the axon so electrical currents can travel faster down the axon.

All-or-None principle

if a neuron is going to 'fire' (send an electrical signal), it must do so completely. This also means that signals are not measured by their intensity, but rather the number of impulses per second.

Multiple Sclerosis

Autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord

-- Caused by inflammation which damages the myelin sheath

Parkinson's Disease

Degenerative disease that most notably affects victim's motor skills and speech

--caused by the insufficient production and activity of dopamine in the midbrain.


a form of dementia which is currently incurable, degenerative, and terminal.

--Cause of disease is unknown; thought to be associated with plaques and tangles in the brain.

Degenerative Disorders of the Central Nervous System

Huntington's disease
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Fatal familial insomnia
Friedreich's ataxia
Prion diseases
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Hereditary spastic paraplegia
Rett syndrome

Neural Stem Cell

a single cell with the ability to:
-exhibit self-maintenance or self-renewal over the lifetime of the organism
-generate a large number of clonally related progeny,
-retain its multilineage potential over time
-produce new cells in response to injury or disease


Type of Brain Disorder: Damage restricted to a region, multiple neural cell types must be replaced (i.e., stroke, spinal injury, CNS injury.


Type of Brain Disorder: progressive neuro-degeneration requiring the replacement of all neural cell types in large brain regions.

Neurogenetic Disorder

caused by a mutation of a gene or a different form of a gene that specifically affects the brain. They can be inherited or caused by environmental factors.
Some examples are: Tay-Sachs and Wilsons Disease

action potential

Electrical signal reaches axon terminal =>

calcium ions released

"Action potential" =>

neurotransmitters released

Calcium ions released =>

excites/inhibits receptors

Neurotransmitters travel across "synaptic gap" and bind to receptors on dendrites =>


Receptors receive neurotransmitters =>


where unused transmitters are brought back into the axon terminal

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