What is a myelin sheath?

A myelin sheath is a protective cover that wraps around nerves. The myelin sheath helps to make sure messages sent through the nerves get to where they need to go.

Neurons are encased in a tough myelin sheath. This protective coating prevents the branches from tangling—and, thus, mixing up messages and disrupting connections—and insures that messages travel fast.

YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

More About this Book

YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

Continue Learning about Neurons

How quickly are neurons created in an unborn baby?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Neurons, which rely on other support cells called glial cells to be built, are created at a pace tha...
More Answers
Do we have a map showing all of interconnecting neurons for any brain?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
The only "brain" in which all of the intereconnecting neurons have been mapped out belongs to a worm...
More Answers
What are neurons?
Dr. William B. Salt, MDDr. William B. Salt, MD
The cells of your nervous system are called neurons. Your brain has approximately one hundred billio...
More Answers
Where is myelin located?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Myelin is the cover over nerve fibers. It is made up of an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA or docosahe...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.