Biology Science

Difference between Neurons and Neuroglia




  • Main Difference

    These parts of the nervous system are an integral component of the human body, and the main difference between them can be told with the definition. A neuron can be defined as a nerve cell that is excited electrically and helps in processing and transmitting information through electrical and chemical signals from the brain to other parts of the body and vice versa. On the other hand, Neuroglia is usually known as Glial cells and can be defined as the tissues in the human body which are known for their connectivity in the nervous system, and consist of many types of cells which are related to neurons.

    Comparison Chart

    Basis of Distinction Neuron Neuroglia
    Definition As a nerve cell that is excited electrically and helps in processing and transmitting information through electrical and chemical signals The tissues in the human body which are known for their connectivity in the nervous system
    Axon Axon is present Axon is absent
    Amount Do not become less with age but new growth does not take place. Become less as the person grows older.
    Function Help in making the body parts active Assist in making the body stay stable.
    Role Structural and functional units Are the supporting cells.

    Neuron

    neuronsThis can be defined as a nerve cell that is excited electrically and helps in processing and transmitting information through electrical and chemical signals from the brain to other parts of the body and vice versa. They are known as the building blocks of the nervous system and are similar to all the other types of cell with one significant difference. They play the role of spreading information throughout the body and are responsible for all the communication that takes place in various forms. They are of many types, the main one is the sensory neurons which carry information from the sensory receptor cells which are present all over the body, to the human brain. The next ones are the motor neurons which transmit data from the human brain to all the other parts of the body. Then there are interneurons which have the duty of spreading information among the different neurons within the body. The main difference between them and other cells is that they stop reproducing after a short time as soon as they are formed. This is the reason that when a person is born, they have more neurons in their brain and hence, get to learn gradually about new things. As they grow older, the number keeps on decreasing since the new ones are not formed, and at a later age a person suffers problems like loss of memory and forgetting things. They have a membrane in them which helps in sharing the information that is collected within it, the axon and dendrites are the structures which play the role of carrying and bringing data to all parts.

    Neuroglia

    neurogliaThey are usually known as Glial cells and can be defined as the tissues in the human body which are known for their connectivity in the nervous system, and consist of many types of cells which are related to neurons. The central and nervous system of a human being depends on the types of cells which are present in the body. These are usually the cells from the nervous system and called Glial which play the role of stabilizing, maintaining and supporting the nervous system. Without them, a human being will not be able to take sound decisions and will lack the ability to remember things. Just like neurons which have the power to move information from one place to another, the glial cells have the capability of maintaining all the information in a proper manner so that there are no confusions that can arise. These are the cells which are not neurons and the only other cells present in the nervous system. The primary functions it performs include, the wrapping of the axons to speed the electrical signals which are present in the neurons. They also provide nutrition to them to make sure they are able to survive for a long time. Help in destroying the pathogens and also provide support to the structure on which the neurons can move and rest. There are four main types of such cells present in the body which are known as astrocyte which is shaped like a star, the other ones are oligodendrocytes, which create myelin sheath around the axons, the next ones are ependymal, which form the choroid plexus and the last ones are radial glia.

    Key Differences

    • A neuron is defined as a nerve cell that is excited electrically and helps in processing and transmitting information through electrical and chemical signals from the brain to other parts of the body and vice versa.
    • Neuroglia is defined as the tissues in the human body which are known for their connectivity in the nervous system, and consist of many types of cells which are related to neurons.
    • The main types of neurons include sensory neurons, motor neurons, interneurons while the main types of neuroglia include astrocyte, oligodendrocytes, ependymal and radial glia.
    • The primary function of neuroglia is to support the metabolic and signaling functions of neurons while the main function of neurons is spreading information throughout the body and are responsible for all the communication that takes place in various forms.
    • Neurons can be termed as are the structural and functional units of the nervous system whereas Neuroglia is the supporting cells.
    • Neuroglia is the ones which form myelin sheath, but those are present as functional in the axon of neurons.
    • Neuroglia is the one which become less with age, but most of the neurons keep to the original amount, but new ones are not produced.
    • Neurons help in making the body parts work, while neuroglia contributes to keeping them stable.

    Video Explanation