A nerve is an enclosed, cable-like bundle of axons (the long, slender projections of neurons) in the peripheral nervous system. A nerve provides a common pathway for the electrochemical nerve impulses that are transmitted along each of the axons to peripheral organs.
In the central nervous system, the analogous structures are known as tracts. Neurons are sometimes called nerve cells, though this term is potentially misleading since many neurons do not form nerves, and nerves also include non-neuronal Schwann cells that coat the axons in myelin.
Each nerve is a cordlike structure that contains many axons. These axons are often referred to as "fibres". Within a nerve, each axon is surrounded by a layer of connective tissue called the endoneurium. The axons are bundled together into groups called fascicles, and each fascicle is wrapped in a layer of connective tissue called the perineurium. Finally, the entire nerve is wrapped in a layer of connective tissue called the epineurium.
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“our nerve filaments twitch with its presence
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—Denise Levertov (b. 1923)
“There must be some nerve and heroism in our love, as of a winter morning.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)