The peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system (CNS) are comprised of assemblies of neurons that communicate via electrical and chemical signals. Different disease processes selectively affect specific populations of neurons and/or specific cell functions (i.e., 'selective vulnerability' of neurons is a principal determinant of phenotypes of disease). New cellular and molecular biological approaches have begun to clarify some of the mechanisms of selective cell injury in human disease and their animal models. Following a brief review of the normal biology of nerve cells, we use illustrations drawn from studies of experimental and human diseases to discuss the mechanisms of structural/chemical abnormalities that occur in a variety of neuronal disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology