Nerve cell and synapses, illustration

Nerve cell and synapses, illustration

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nerve cell and synapses, computer illustration. Nerve cells, or neurons, relay information around the central nervous system (CNS) and from the CNS to the rest of the body. Synapses transmit electrical signals from one nerve cell to the next. When the signal reaches the synapse it triggers the release of chemicals called neurotransmitters from vesicles in the terminal swelling of the presynaptic cell. The neurotransmitters cross a microscopic gap called the synaptic cleft and pass into the receptor nerve cell, where they trigger an electrical impulse.

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