If nerve cells do not undergo cell division, how they replicate themselves?

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c67julie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nerve cells are very specialized cells. Their job is to send signals to and from the brain. Because of this, each nerve cell has a specific place in our nervous system for signals to follow the correct path to successfully get to and from the brain. If nerve cells were to reproduce or undergo cell division, it would cause a disturbance in the path of signals sent. This could potentially mess up the series of specific connections. This could disrupt signals being sent to and from the brain. In short, nerve cells do not reproduce. We get what we are born with. If nerve cells get damaged they cannot be replaced. With new technology and research, scientists are inserting stem cells in areas where nerve cells were damaged. Stem cells still have the ability to differentiate into several cell types. It is believed that if stem cells are injected into the damaged area, those cells could turn into nerve cells. This would allow the area to function as normal as the new nerve cells would make the connection whole again. There is also another area being studied. Scientists are looking at what they believe to be neuronal stem cells. These are believed to be found in mammalian brains. These stem cells replace the dead neurons.

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