Neuroscience

Discovery opens new opportunities to slow or reverse MS

Nerve cells stripped of their insulation can no longer carry vital information, leading to the numbness, weakness and vision problems often associated with multiple sclerosis. A new study shows an overlooked source may be ...

Neuroscience

A little myelin goes a long way to restore nervous system function

In the central nervous system of humans and all other mammals, a vital insulating sheath composed of lipids and proteins around nerve fibers helps speed the electrical signals or nerve impulses that direct our bodies to walk, ...

Neuroscience

How to myelinate a nerve

(Medical Xpress)—Demyelinating diseases, like MS or ALS, attack an otherwise healthy nervous system and leave its owner a prisoner in their own body. The harder big pharma searches for—and fails to find—miracle drugs ...

Neuroscience

Know the brain, and its axons, by the clothes they wear

(Medical Xpress)—It is widely know that the grey matter of the brain is grey because it is dense with cell bodies and capillaries. The white matter is almost entirely composed of lipid-based myelin, but there is also a ...

Neuroscience

How the brain makes myelination activity-dependent

(Medical Xpress)—A major question regarding how axons acquire a coat of myelin, is the role of spiking activity. It is known that in culture systems oligodendroctyes will at least try to wrap anything that feels like an ...

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Myelin

Myelin is a dielectric (electrically insulating) material that forms a layer, the myelin sheath, usually around only the axon of a neuron. It is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. Myelin is an outgrowth of a type of glial cell. The production of the myelin sheath is called myelination. In humans, the production of myelin begins in the fourteenth week of fetal development, although little myelin exists in the brain at the time of birth. During infancy, myelination occurs quickly and continues through the adolescent stages of life.

Schwann cells supply the myelin for peripheral neurons, whereas oligodendrocytes, specifically of the interfascicular type, myelinate the axons of the central nervous system. Myelin is considered a defining characteristic of the (gnathostome) vertebrates, but myelin-like sheaths have also arisen by parallel evolution in some invertebrates, although they are quite different from vertebrate myelin at the molecular level. Myelin was discovered in 1854 by Rudolf Virchow.

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