Glia means glue in Greek. Glial cells outnumber neurons by perhaps 10 to 1. They are now believed capable of encoding and transmitting information on their own. The number of elements involved in information transfer, along with their interactions, represents a number likely greater then the number of particles in the known universe. (Restak, Richard. Mysteries of the Mind. p 11-12. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2000.)

The name Neuroglia comes from the Latin for “neuron glue.” Santiago Ramon y Cajal, professor of Anatomy at Zaragoza, Spain and the most renowned neuroanatomist of the 20th Century, called them “spider cells” because of the many protoplasmic legs extending in all directions from their corpulent cell body. Others scientists thought glial cells resembled starts and called them “astrocytes” (that name prevails today for one of the four major types of glial cells now recognized). Glial cells lack both wire-like axons and root-like dendrites. (Fields, R. Douglas, PhD. The Other Brain. p 7-11. NY: Simon & Schuster, 2009.)