What Is The Function Of The Myelin

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What Is The Function Of The Myelin

What Is The Function Of The Myelin

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The myelin sheath covering the axons of most neurons is produced by Schwann cells in the central nervous system and by oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system.

Myelin, white, layered on the axon of many neurons. Composed of lipids, proteins, and water, the myelin sheath is placed around axons by Schwann cells in the spinal cord and a type of neuroglia. called an oligodendrocyte in the middle of the body. The arch is broken into divisions called nodes of Ranvier; this structure speeds up nerve impulses, as impulses jump from node to node in a process called saltatory conduction. Myelin sheath is a substance found on the surface of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS).

The myelin sheath is the protective layer that wraps the axons of neurons to help protect the neurons and increase the number of electrical signals that are transmitted.

The myelin sheath is a lipid-rich layer that protects the axons of most nerve cells. Produced by oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system, it improves the speed of nerve impulses. The nerve is divided, with gaps called nodes of Ranvier, which are important in the rapid transmission of electrical signals along the axon.

Myelination Of Axons By Schwann Cells

An axon is usually wrapped by the myelin sheath along its entire length in order to increase the speed of these electrical signals, allowing all actions to be carried out quickly.

Myelin sheath is made of lipids and proteins, which give it a thick and white appearance. This creates a protective sleeve that wraps around the axon of neurons. The sheath is made up of several central layers of plasma membrane wrapped around the axon.

There are gaps between 0.2 and 2 mm. in the myelin sheath, these are called nodes of Ranvier. Action potentials (nerve impulses) travel down the axon “jumping” from node to node. This speeds up the shipping.

What Is The Function Of The Myelin

Myelin was discovered in the middle of the 19th century when scientists observed neurons through a microscope and noticed a bright white substance surrounding the axons. Rudolf Virchow, a German doctor who developed this concept, coined the term ‘myelin’ from the Greek word myelós, which means heart.

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At that time, it was believed that myelin was in the center of the axon. However, it was later found to be a substance that wraps the axons of neurons.

The main function of the Myelin sheath is to provide insulation to the axons of the surrounding neuron. This sheath protects these axons in the same way that electrical wires receive conduction.

The myelin sheath is a low-conductivity and high-conductivity layer, which means it can act as an insulator without interfering with electrical signals traveling down the spine. axon.

Because the myelin sheath provides insulation to the axons, these axons can conduct electrical signals at a higher speed than if they were not insulated by myelin. Therefore, the more complete an axon is, the higher the speed of the electrical current.

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For example, one of the most myelinated axons can conduct emotions at a speed of about 70 to 120 m / s, the speed of a car.

Similarly, the myelin sheath that surrounds an axon can prevent electrical impulses from traveling in and out of the sheath. the axon.

This prevents the movement of ions in or out of the neuron, which is called depolarization. This means that now the impulses will only flow down the axon.

What Is The Function Of The Myelin

The more activities are possible, the more neurons can communicate with each other, transfer electrical and chemical messages, and keep the brain healthy and functioning properly.

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As the myelin sheath wraps around the axons, there are small gaps between the myelin sheaths, called nodes of Ranvier. These are specialized molecular structures formed by the myelin sheath, which contain clusters of voltage-sensitive sodium and potassium ion channels.

Since electrical currents cannot travel through the myelin sheath, they ‘jump’ from one node of Ranvier to another in saltatory conduction.

This type of input is very important for electrical impulses to be built quickly and means that less energy is needed to conduct electrical signals. This is because less energy is needed in myelinated axons to conduct impulses.

Myelin plays an important role in ensuring that our nerve signals are properly placed, and it does so by controlling the level of potassium that increases in these transmissions.

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In 1854, Rudolf Virchow introduced the term “myelin”, derived from the Greek word for fat, to describe a structure present in the brain.

Since 1949, the main idea of ​​myelin’s function is to stabilize the speed of nerve conduction and reduce the energy consumption in axons.

However, recent studies challenge this idea, suggesting that myelin and the cells that make it up can undergo changes based on neural activity, and how neural circuits work. .

What Is The Function Of The Myelin

This expansion of the understanding of myelin and its relationship with neurons sheds light not only on its role in normal physiological functions but also in the diagnosis of various neurological and mental disorders.

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Myelination is the formation of a myelin sheath. Therefore, the axons covered by this protective sleeve are called myelinated axons. If a myelin sheath does not surround an axon, it is called myelin.

The more myelinated axons one has, the faster their response to stimuli will be because the myelin sheaths increase the transmission of nerve impulses. Therefore, uncircumcised axons mean that a person does not respond quickly.

Likewise, in unmyelinated axons, the electrical current will not be accelerated by the nodes of Ranvier, which means that the signals will travel through each part of the cell, which slows down the speed of signal processing .

Myelin sheath is produced by different types of glia cells. Glia cells are located in the CNS and PNS, which work to maintain homeostasis, and provide support and protection for neurons.

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The two types of glia cells that produce myelin are Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes. Schwann cells are located in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) while oligodendrocytes are located in the central nervous system (CNS).

Schwann cells originate from the neural crest, a group of embryonic cells. Thus, Schwann cells will first begin to myelinate axons during fetal development. Schwann cells are surrounded by sheets called the basal lamina.

The outer surface of the basal lamina is covered with a layer of connective tissue called the endoneurium. The endoneurium contains blood cells, macrophages, and fibroblasts. Finally, the inner part of the lamina layer faces the plasma membrane of the Schwann cells.

What Is The Function Of The Myelin

For the myelin sheath made by Schwann cells in the PNS, the plasma membrane of these cells needs to wrap itself around the axons of the neuron concentrically, successively to add on the membrane layers.

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This plasma membrane has a high level of fat that is necessary for the formation of the myelin sheath. Sometimes, up to 100 turns of Schwann cells spiral around the axons of neurons.

At first, myelin was believed to be secreted by neurons as an insulator. However, a century later, the stains of Pio Del Rio Hortega and Wilder Penfield showed that myelin does not originate from neurons but from oligodendrocytes.

Oligodendrocytes can produce many myelin sheaths on different axons, which facilitates the transmission of nerve signals, especially at the nodes of Ranvier.

In the CNS, oligodendrocytes are glia cells that also form myelin sheaths. Oligodendrocytes are star-shaped cells that have about 15 arms coming out of their cell bodies, which means they can process many axons at the same time.

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Like Schwann cells, oligodendrocytes wrap around the axons of neurons to form a myelin sheath. The cell body and the nucleus of the oligodendrocytes, however, remain separate from the sheath and therefore do not wrap the axon, unlike Schwann cells.

Oligodendrocytes migrate around the axon to form a lipid-rich membrane, thereby activating Schwann cells.

The initiation of myelination is often triggered by neuronal activity in the CNS. This was confirmed in studies with mice, some mice grew in the dark and some in the light.

What Is The Function Of The Myelin

It was found that the optic nerves of the mice that were raised in the dark had less development of myelinated axons than those that were not raised in the dark.

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Overall, it has been found that the degree of myelination depends on the amount of neuronal activity, with the increase in activity increasing the amount of myelination.

Myelination occurs during embryonic development and is a continuous process from birth to approximately 2 years of age. At this time

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