Glia have four main functions:
- To surround neurons and hold them in place,
- To supply nutrients and oxygen to neurons,
- To insulate one neuron from another,
- To destroy pathogens and remove dead neurons.
Glia may have more functions than just these four.
Role in degenerative brain diseases[change | edit source]
A type of glial cell are thought to play a role in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Motor Neurone Disease), Alzheimer's disease (a type of dementia) and Parkinson's disease. The microglia are the macrophages of the nervous system.