Journal article

What is the optimal distribution of myelin along a single axon?

Darragh M Walsh, Kerry A Landman, Barry D Hughes

Neuroscience Letters | Elsevier | Published : 2017


The myelin sheath that insulates some axons in the central nervous system allows for faster signal conduction. Previously, axons were thought to be either unmyelinated or fully myelinated. Recent experimental work has discovered a new pattern of myelination (intermittent myelination) along axons in the mouse brain, in which long unmyelinated axon segments are followed by myelinated segments of comparable length. We use a computational model to explore how myelin distribution (in particular intermittent myelination) affects conduction velocity. We find that although fully myelinated axons minimize conduction velocity, varying the spatial distribution of a fixed amount of myelin along a partia..

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