With my project I am demonstrating the difference between a healthy and damaged nerve cell that occurs with Multiple Sclerosis. With the healthy model, I am illustrating how the myelin sheath are intact and protecting the axon. There is more space between the myelin in my models to demonstrate the axon beneath as well as show the node of Ranvier. With the MS inflicted model, we can see the damage made to the myelin sheath and the exposed axon and fiber nerves as they begin to deteriorate. This demyelination occurs in MS due to autoreactive T cells entering the CNS and induce an inflammatory reaction which results in loss of axons as well as myelin. My medium for this project was modeling clay.
Jezebell’s STEAM project is on the effects on the myelin sheath of a nerve cell in individuals with the autoimmune disorder multiple sclerosis (MS). She represented this with modeling clay depicting a healthy nerve cell, and a nerve cell suffering from demyelination and damage due to MS. Her project relates to the course objective “explain how neurons carry an electrical charge”. In her model, Jezebell presents the difference between a nerve cell with a healthy myelin sheath and that of one that does not, and creatively elucidates the potential for impairment of nerve function due to demyelination.
In a healthy nerve cell, the myelin sheath surrounds and protects the axon, allowing for communication of impulses. In MS, the myelin sheath is erroneously marked as not meant to be present by the immune system and is damaged, resulting in demyelination of the axons. Damage to the myelin sheath leads to damage to the axon, inflammation, and an impairment of the nerve cell’s ability to properly function. This damage results in symptoms that affect both the autonomic and somatic nervous systems, including disturbances to vision, coordination, continence, and sensation. Currently, treatment meant to repair the myelin sheath of individuals afflicted with MS is being tested with the intent to reduce and recover from degeneration of the myelin sheath.