Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was thinking about how when people say: "Nerve cells don't regenerate" (which is, apparently, not true at least for some kinds of nerves) and "You're making me nervous" they might not refer to the same "nerves".

What makes a person "feel nervous"? Does it have anything to do with nervous system?

Bonus question: How did people come up with the thought that nerve cells don't regenerate?

share|improve this question

As buzrw's first comment states, most nervousness is primarily a sympathetic nervous system response.

There are also neurotransmitter imbalances involved with anxiety, especially in anxiety disorders. The NT are dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

I want to clarify buzrw's comment on nerve cell regeneration, as I am unsure if he is stating it's proven to exist or to not exist. "Primary neurons are not readily mitotic..." makes me think it's the latter.

Neuroregeneration is proven. Mayo Clinic has good information here and this is a well-phrased simplified answer here.

It is more commonly seen in peripheral nervous system, as the central nervous system has limited capabilities to regenerate. Mostly it is regrowth of severed axons of cells, and differs between different nerve cell types. There are other types of regeneration as well. They involve many physiological processes we're only starting to understand, such as the role of neuroligin. Without getting too technical, there is a lot that can be done to help stimulate and guide the regrowth of some neural damage, but there are still chasms in our knowledge in the fields of neurology and psychiatry.

share|improve this answer

Yes, it's a response caused by a division of the autonomic nervous system, called the sympathetic autonomic nervous system.

Regarding nerve cell regeneration, it's not a thought it's proven. Primary neurons are not readily mitotic.

share|improve this answer
Could you explain a bit more what is the difference between these nerve cells and primary neurons? – user1306322 May 4 '14 at 6:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.