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Differences in myelin repair

March 19, 2010

It has been noticed from clinical observations that there are differences in the axons’ability to regenerate their myelin sheath according to their topography.

The myelin sheath from the perifery repairs itself better and faster than in the central nervous system. Why?

It is not very clear for me why that happens, but I found these possible explanations:

– the myelin sheath in the peripherical nervous system is made by the Schwann cells where 1 Schwann cell secretes the myelin for 1 axon

– the myelin sheath in the central nervous system is made by the oligodendrocytes where 1 oligodendrocyte secretes myelin for 30-40 axons so there is a difference in quantity here

– another cause could be factors secreted by the glial scar, from which I found some data about the NoGo factor

I wonder if the factors possibly secreted by the glial scar could be inhibited therapeutically but found no data available till now. I am mainly thinking about the demyelinating diseases that could benefit from these. The only demyelinating disease that I saw till now is multiple sclerosis and although theoretically I found this to be an interesting disease from what I have read, I find it now a dramatical disease.

If you are interested in the topic, here is a great link:

The Myelin Project

Myelin Repair Foundation

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