What is Difference Between Nerve And Neuron?

Although nerves and neurons may sound similar to most people, they are in fact two different components of the body. However, they are closely related, since the nerves are actually projections of neurons. Here we will explain what is the difference between nerve and neuron.


There are three main types of nerves: afferent nerves, efferent nerves, and mixed nerves. Afferent nerves transmit signals from sensory neurons to the central nervous system. The efferent nerves transmit signals from the central nervous system to the muscles and glands and mixed nerves are responsible for receiving sensory information and sending information to the muscles. The nerves are also classified as spinal nerves and cranial nerves. The spinal nerves connect the spine with the spinal cord and transmit signals to most of the body, while the cranial nerves are in the brain stem, and are responsible for the signals to the brain.

The nerve is composed of different types of axons and it is through these axons that electrochemical nerve impulses are transmitted. The nerves are in the peripheral nervous system. Each nerve is covered by three layers, beginning with the internal endoneurium, which covers the nerve fibers; the middle layer called perineurium and the outer layer on the perineurium called epineurium. You can even find blood vessels inside a nerve.

On the other hand, neurons are found in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. There are two types of neurons, sensory neurons, and motor neurons. Sensory neurons send signals to the brain and spinal cord, while motor neurons receive signals from the brain and spinal cord. Therefore, information is transmitted through neurons by electrochemical signaling.

Neurons consist of several parts that include the soma, the nucleus, the extensions called dendritic tree and the many axons. The soma is the central part of the neuron, and the nucleus is inside the soma. Dendrites form extensions from the neuron and axons are extensions from the soma. Axons are fine structures and vary in number from hundreds to thousands. The axon terminals have synapses, and the axon mound is where the axon emerges from the soma.

Several diseases can occur when there is constant damage to nerves or neurons. Nerve damage can cause diseases such as carpal tunnel syndrome, immune diseases such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and neuritis, which is when the nerves become infected. Diabetes can also cause nerve damage and neuropathy refers to the damage of the blood vessels that cover the nerves. The symptoms of the aforementioned diseases include paralysis, pain, numbness and weakness of the nerves. In some cases, there is even referred pain in a different part of the body due to the damage of certain nerves.

Alzheimer’s disease, Charcot Marie Tooth’s disease, myasthenia gravis, and Parkinson’s disease are caused by damage to neurons. Symptoms of these diseases include short-term memory loss, loss of sensory perception, agnosia, apraxia, aphasia, akinesia, tremor, muscle stiffness, bradykinesia, and many other symptoms.

Summary for Difference Between Nerve And Neuron

  1. A neuron is an individual cell, while a group of neurons forms a nerve.
  2. There are two types of neurons: sensory and motor; while there are three types of nerves: afferent, efferent and mixed.
  3. Nerves are found in the peripheral nervous system, while neurons are found in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves.
  4. Neurons conduct nerve impulses, while nerves transmit information to various parts of the body.

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