If you have a brain that is not properly myelinated, you will be mentally slow. For your brain to function efficiently the billions of nerve networks that connect its‘ parts and must be myelinated.
What is myelination? Wikipedia: Myelination is the process of coating the axon of each neuron with a fatty coating called myelin, which protects the neuron and helps it conduct signals more efficiently. Myelination begins in the brain stem and cerebellum before birth, but is not completed in the frontal cortex until late in adolescence.
Myelinated nerves are surrounded with a fatty sheath, also called white matter. White matter is essential for nerve fibres to work efficiently and help with rapid transmission of electrical and chemical signals over greater differences.
Myelination of nerve fibres develops gradually as the brain matures. By the 14th week of foetal development brain myelination starts, preparing those parts of the brain that are going to be necessary for the baby to breathe and cry at the time of birth. However we have only very few nerve fibres myelinated by birth, and therefore a baby is very limited in its’ abilities. In first year of the child’s life brain development speeds up dramatically and as more brain parts are being myelinated, crawling, walking and babbling become possible.
The myelination of the brain continues as we mature and by the time we reach adolescence we can discuss philosophy, religion and the meaning of life, because a higher brain region, the frontal cortex, has been myelinated. This allows us to enjoy more the higher more sophisticated mental skills, manipulate abstract ideas and solve complex problems.
But what happens if your brain does not myelinate all its parts? Research has shown that when we suffer from conditions like delayed development in childhood, learning problems and ADD, lack of myelination may play a role. If our brain fails to myelinate it can affect our mental, emotional and physical skills.
What happens if your brain does not myelinate all its parts during development?
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