Neurons differ in structure and function.
1. Classification of neurons a. On the basis of structure, neurons are classified as bipolar, unipolar, or multipolar.
b. On the basis of function, neurons are classified as sensory neurons, interneurons, or motor neurons.
2. Classification of neuroglia a. Neuroglial cells make up a large portion of the nervous system and have several functions.
b. They fill spaces, support neurons, hold nervous tissue together, play a role in the metabolism of glucose, help regulate potassium ion concentration, produce myelin, carry on phagocytosis, rid synapses of excess ions and neurotransmitters, nourish neurons, and stimulate synapse formation.
3. Regeneration of nerve fibers a. If a neuron cell body is injured, the neuron is likely to die.
b. If a peripheral axon is severed, its distal portion will die, but under the influence of nerve growth factors, the proximal portion may regenerate and reestablish its former connections, provided a tube of connective tissue guides it.
c. Significant regeneration is not likely in the central nervous system.
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