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Nerve


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Axons transmit electrical impulses. Nerves have historically been considered the basic units of the peripheral nervous system. A nerve provides a common pathway for the electrochemical nerve impulses called action potentials that are transmitted along each of the axons to peripheral organs or, in the case of sensory nerves, from the periphery back to the central nervous system. Each axon, within the nerve, is an extension of an individual neuron, along with other supportive cells such as some Schwann cells that coat the axons in myelin.


Within a nerve, each axon is surrounded by a layer of connective tissue called the endoneurium. The axons are bundled together into groups called fascicles, and each fascicle is wrapped in a layer of connective tissue called the perineurium. Finally, the entire nerve is wrapped in a layer of connective tissue called the epineurium. Nerve cells (often called neurons) are further classified as sensory, motor, or mixed nerves.


Each nerve is covered on the outside by a dense sheath of connective tissue, the epineurium. Beneath this is a layer of fat cells, the perineurium, which forms a complete sleeve around a bundle of axons. Perineurial septae extend into the nerve and subdivide it into several bundles of fibres. Surrounding each such fibre is the endoneurium. This forms an unbroken tube from the surface of the spinal cord to the level where the axon synapses with its muscle fibres, or ends in sensory receptors. The endoneurium consists of an inner sleeve of material called the glycocalyx and an outer, delicate, meshwork of collagen fibres.[2] Nerves are bundled and often travel along with blood vessels, since the neurons of a nerve have fairly high energy requirements.


Specific terms are used to describe nerves and their actions. A nerve that supplies information to the brain from an area of the body, or controls an action of the body is said to innervate that section of the body or organ. Other terms relate to whether the nerve affects the same side ("ipsilateral") or opposite side ("contralateral") of the body, to the part of the brain that supplies it.


The nerve begins the process by destroying the nerve distal to the site of injury allowing Schwann cells, basal lamina, and the neurilemma near the injury to begin producing a regeneration tube. Nerve growth factors are produced causing many nerve sprouts to bud. When one of the growth processes finds the regeneration tube, it begins to grow rapidly towards its original destination guided the entire time by the regeneration tube. Nerve regeneration is very slow and can take up to several months to complete. While this process does repair some nerves, there will still be some functional deficit as the repairs are not perfect.[6]


A nerve conveys information in the form of electrochemical impulses (as nerve impulses known as action potentials) carried by the individual neurons that make up the nerve. These impulses are extremely fast, with some myelinated neurons conducting at speeds up to 120 m/s. The impulses travel from one neuron to another by crossing a synapse, where the message is converted from electrical to chemical and then back to electrical.[2][1]


The nervous system is the part of an animal that coordinates its actions by transmitting signals to and from different parts of its body.[7] In vertebrates it consists of two main parts, the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS consists of the brain, brainstem and spinal cord. The PNS consists mainly of nerves, which are enclosed bundles of the long fibers or axons, that connect the CNS to all remaining body parts.


Nerves that transmit signals from the CNS are called motor or efferent nerves, while those nerves that transmit information from the body to the CNS are called sensory or afferent. Spinal nerves serve both functions and are called mixed nerves. The PNS is divided into three separate subsystems, the somatic, autonomic, and enteric nervo




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