Understanding Neurological Functions

Understanding Neurological Functions

Having a basic understanding of neurological functions is essential when it comes to learning how your body works. This article will explain some of the key concepts. Also, it will discuss moment-to-moment electrical signaling and action potentials.


The central and peripheral nerve systems make up the nervous system. The brain and spinal cord are within. A medical professional focusing on treating neurological conditions is known as a neurologist.

Neurologists regularly have to handle and treat diseases, injuries, and illnesses that impact the nervous system.

The neurological exam will continue to be a crucial part of patient evaluation, even as medicine depends more and more on technology. A thorough history, physical examination, and tests for mental state, vision, speech, strength, sensation, coordination, reflexes, and gait are required for neurologists to diagnose complicated diseases. Neurological practitioners at Integrated Health Systems can help you understand neurological functions.

The basic plan of the brain

During our lives, our brains undergo many changes. The brain constantly rewires existing neural communication pathways to adapt to new experiences. This phenomenon is known as neuroplasticity.

The brain is composed of billions of neurons and millions of glial cells. These cells feed the neurons and sustain them. They take up extra neurotransmitters. Neurons have vital allies in glial cells. They help regulate the body’s temperature and regulate vasodilation and hunger.

Each brain’s two hemispheres have lobes responsible for carrying out particular tasks. Lobes are broad areas of the brain that are connected through complex relationships.

Communication between nerve cells

Throughout the nervous system, nerve cells use chemical and electrical signals to communicate. These signals are carried along the Axons of the neurons and can be up to a meter. They are brief electrical events that occur within the cells.

Several different factors cause these action potentials. For example, a more significant stimulus might trigger a more substantial depolarization and longer action potential. Another factor is the load on the neurons. This load might be due to a painful stimulus, bright light, or the amount of neurotransmitter released by the neurons.

The release of neurotransmitters from the presynaptic terminals follows these action potentials. Each neuron has a different variety of neurotransmitters. The type of neurotransmitter determines the ions released into the cell membrane. Some ions may pass directly from one neuron to another, while others diffuse from the cell to the next section of the axon.

Moment-to-moment electrical signaling

Neurons send and receive messages to one another using electrical signals and chemical signals. This process is known as synaptic communication.

The process starts with an action potential. It is a rapid, temporary change in the membrane potential. An action potential never goes backward or forward but always travels from the cell body to the synapse.

An action potential sends an electrical signal down the axon, which can be as long as a meter. The axon is a tube-like structure covered in a fatty substance called myelin. Myelin acts as an insulator, making the signal travel down the axon quickly.

In a neuron, the axon is the main branch of the cell body. The axon also contains an axon hillock, a junction between the cell body and the axon. This junction receives multiple presynaptic inputs and generates an action potential simultaneously.

Action potentials

Among the many roles of neurons in the nervous system, action potentials play a central role in cell-cell communication. These small electrical pulses are produced by voltage-gated ion channels embedded in the cell membrane.

Action potentials are generated when the cell membrane is depolarized, either by a stimulus or an influx of sodium ions. Depolarization causes an electrochemical gradient that further raises the membrane potential.

The action potential is a brief electrical event lasting less than one millisecond. The event occurs when the cell membrane reaches a particular threshold potential. This threshold is a measure of depolarization that is generally between -60 and -55 mV. The action potential then starts its journey down the axon.

Action potentials are generated by a rapid influx of sodium ions, which depolarize the nearby portions of the axon. These ions are released through the opening of voltage-gated sodium channels.

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