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Myelin

 

Myelin is an insulating layer, or sheath that forms around nerves, including those in the brain and spinal cord. It is made up of protein and fatty substances.

This myelin sheath allows electrical impulses to transmit quickly and efficiently along the nerve cells. If myelin is damaged, these impulses slow down. This can cause diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

 

References

Calabresi PA. Multiple sclerosis and demyelinating conditions of the central nervous system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 411.

Myelin. Taber's Medical Dictionary Online. www.tabers.com/tabersonline/view/Tabers-Dictionary/767168/all/myelin. Accessed June 11, 2017.

Text only

 
  • Myelin and nerve structure

    Myelin and nerve structure - illustration

    Myelin is the layer that forms around nerve cells. Its purpose is to speed the transmission of impulses along nerve cells.

    Myelin and nerve structure

    illustration

    • Myelin and nerve structure

      Myelin and nerve structure - illustration

      Myelin is the layer that forms around nerve cells. Its purpose is to speed the transmission of impulses along nerve cells.

      Myelin and nerve structure

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Tests for Myelin

       
       

      Review Date: 5/13/2019

      Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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