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Myelin

A thick coating to protect the nerve cell axon and allows messages to be transmitted quickly and efficiently.

Formed in the central nervous system (CNS), myelin is a thick coating that protects the nerve cell axons (nerve cell fibres) with a mixture of proteins and fatty substance.

In multiple sclerosis, the immune system triggers the nerve cells to become inflamed. The myelin is then damaged and stripped away from the axons, creating the process called ‘demyelination’. The messages that pass along a demyelinated nerve become blocked or delayed. This can result in numerous symptoms, varying from person to person. It is the damage to the myelin that makes MS a degenerative disease.

References:
Keiichiro Susuki, M.D., Ph.D (2010). Myelin: A Specialized Membrane for Cell Communication. Available at: https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/myelin-a-specialized-membrane-for-cell-communication-14367205/ Accessed March 2020
MS Trust. Nerve cells (Neurons). Available at: https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/nerve-cells-neurons. Accessed April 2020

UK | July 2020 | MUL20-C021