Glossary of Terms
Nerve Sprouting - A condition following spinal cord trauma that results in the axon reconnecting to an inappropriate target. Synaptic conduction is restored but the pathway does not result in restoration of function.
Netrins - Molecules that attract and repel developing axons and appear to govern the direction they travel. Neural Progenitors – Parent cells that give rise to each of the types of nerve cells.
Neurogenesis - The birth of neurons. Neurons (nerve cells) are the basic unit of the nervous system. Neurons come in assorted shapes and sizes, and each type has a specific role. Chains of neurons transmit electrical impulses throughout the body.
Neurons (nerve cells) - The basic unit of the nervous system. Neurons come in assorted shapes and sizes and each type has a specific role. Chains of neurons transmit electrical impulses throughout the body.
Neuropathic pain - Pain caused by disease in, or injury to, the nervous system.
Neurotransmission - The sending and receiving of electrical impulses through chains of neurons.
Neurotransmitters - The chemical messengers of the nervous system. They are released at the synapse (connection between nerve cells) and influence cell behavior. Common neurotransmitters include glutamate, serotonin, acetylcholine and norepinephrine.
Neurotrophins - Molecules that are important in the development and maintenance of the nervous system. Neurotrophins, which promote axon regeneration almost like a nerve-cell fertilizer, include nerve-growth factor (NGF), NT-3, BDNF, and NT 4/5.
Neutrophils - A type of white blood cell and one of the first immune cells to arrive during the acute inflammatory response to a spinal cord injury. Neutrophils manufacture enzymes, which help kill bacteria; but in the brain and spinal cord they are lethal to nerve cells.
Nogo - A powerful protein that occurs naturally in the spinal cord and prevents nerve cells from regenerating axons.
Courtesy Christopher Reeve Foundation