Purkinje cells in the brain at 40-times magnification. They are some of the cells that you kill with alcohol. Purkinje cells are among the largest neurons in the human brain with visually impressive tree-shaped dendritic inputs.
They are the most important regulating cells in your cerebellum and work like this: Imagine you want to take a step forward and grab an object. Your brain creates a rough, approximate “movement plan” (“move those muscles of the leg to the front and extend arm!”). This is made by the pyramidal cells. But this plan is not very refined, it would just make you rapidly rip your leg forward and swing your arm somewhere unprecisely- not enough for grabbing a subtle small object. So that “movement plan” gets transported by neuronal fibers to your cerebellum, where these Purkinje cells are. With inhibiting interneurons they start making a much more detailed pattern of movements that will enable to you do the planned action. Your fingers know where to move and how strong to push around the object so it doesn’t fall down. That is one reason why many alcohol-addicts have rough movements and can’t move their hands and fingers so precisely (called “Korsakoff-syndrome”). So take care of your neurons, they are awesome Image by Alan Opsahl, Pfizer, Inc.