What is an Axon?

What is an Axon?

Did you know about axons? It is part of the nervous system that helps neurons to communicate. It can be in different sizes and lengths. However, if it gets damaged it can lead to disability, coma, paralysis, or even death. So you must know what causes damage to the axon. Learn about axons in this article. Get a consultation with the best neurologists in Brooklyn. 


Every neuron in the nervous system contains one axon. But the main difference is that they have different sizes and lengths. Some axons are very long (around one meter), while others are very small, less than one millimeter. The most extended axon is the sciatic nerve, which starts from the base of the spinal cord goes down to each leg, and ends at your big toes.  

According to a general rule, the larger the diameter of the axon, the quicker it can transmit nerve impulses. Usually, there are two types of axons in the nervous system.  

  • Myelinated axons: These axons are covered with an insulated coating called a myelin sheath. These axons connect neurons in the somatic nervous system to voluntary movements of skeletal muscles in our body.  
  • Unmyelinated axons: These axons are not covered with myelin sheath and connect neurons to the autonomic nervous system to the involuntary movements of smooth muscles, like the heart, blood vessels, and intestines.  

Myelinated and unmyelinated axons work differently. Myelinated axons stimulate nerve impulses faster which allows rapid physiological response and helps to perform complicated variations in movement and capability.  

Whereas, unmyelinated axons stimulate impulses slower, and the functions of neurons and cell connection work differently. In the autonomic nervous system, the main goal is to make steady and consistent movement of smooth muscles, such as heart rate and digestion.  


The main function of an axon is to transmit information or signals between neurons from muscles and glands. Each neuron has its axon which connects them to another neuron. Three types of neurons are connected to axons: 

  • Sensory neurons: These are the nerve cells that only relay information that allows us to touch, see, hear, smell, or feel things like temperature or pain.  
  • Motor neurons: These are the nerve cells that directly allow muscle contractions and how glands work.  
  • Interneurons: These nerve cells are connected to nerve cells within the same area or region of the brain and spinal cord. Neurons are connected in a way that creates a network called a neural circuit.  

Neurons communicate with each other with the chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. It contains tiny branches called telodendrons, that go from each axon to connect the telodendrons of other neurons. Each telodendron end has a ball-like structure called an axon terminal.  

When an electrical impulse is received by an axon, neurotransmitters that are stored in the axon terminal get released and these neurotransmitters cross a small gap called a synapse and are then received by the other axon terminal neuron. Different neurotransmitters send distinctive messages.  

A single axon may have many different telodendrons with different neurotransmitters. Depending on which telodendrons receive signals, multiple messages can be delivered at the same time between neurons.  

Want to know more about axons and neurological disorders? Look no further. Call us on +1-347-384-5690 or visit www.doralhw.org and book your appointment with the best Neurologists in Brooklyn at Doral Health & Wellness. Visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212. Keeping you safe and healthy is our primary goal.  

Contact us to help your loved ones. 


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