Which nerve cells do what?
Two sorts of cells make up the nervous system: neurons and glial cells. Neurons are the building blocks of the nervous system. Information travels along neurons as electrical signals – nerve impulses. These signals are passed to the next neuron in the chain at special sites known as synapses. There are ten times as many glial cells than neurons. Glial cells do not actually conduct electrical impulses, they look after the structure and maintenance of the brain.
What are neurons?
All neurons have the same basic parts. The 'control centre' of the cell is known as the cell body. The axon (nerve fibre) transmits electrical signals from the cell body. The dendrites are branching fibres that receive electrical signals from other neurons. The shape of a neuron is determined by the job it does. The axons of some neurons are shorter than 1 millimetre, while axons that carry signals from the spinal cord to the foot may be as long as a metre.