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Problems with myelin theory

Jeremy Leipzig jeremyl at mindspring.com
Fri Feb 13 20:20:43 EST 1998

Yes, sorry, my paragraph should read that myelin _decreases_
capacitance, as many of you have pointed out. I also have no dispute
with the part of the theory that myelin insulates the areas between the
Nodes of Ranvier, effectively reducing the electric field experienced by
ions on either side and allowing more charge to reach the Nodes of
Ranvier.  But this insulation point is made in textbooks in addition to
the point about capacitance.  It's as though they're implying that less
charge is necessary to depolarize the "present" node, as opposed to less
charge is necessary to depolarize the subsequent node.  Would all of you
agree that myelin does not affect the capacitance of the membrane at the
nodes and that its only function is insulation?
Jeremy Leipzig

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