before vowels neur-, word-forming element meaning "pertaining to a nerve or nerves or the nervous system," from Greek neura "nerve" (Galen), originally "sinew, bowstring," also neuron "sinew, string (of a bow or musical instrument); cord; penis;" in plural "strength, vigor," from PIE *(s)neuro- "tendon, sinew" (see nerve (n.)). In Greek, puppets were neurospastos, literally "drawn by strings."
word-forming element meaning "feeling, suffering, emotion; disorder, disease," from Latin -pathia, from Greek -patheia "act of suffering, feeling" (from PIE root *kwent(h)- "to suffer"). Meaning "system of treatment of disease, method, cure, curative treatment" is abstracted from homeopathy (q.v.).