For the art portion of my project, I used clay to construct a model of a healthy motor neuron and muscle.  I also constructed a model of a motor neuron affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS and a muscle suffering from atrophy.    I have labeled dendrites, nucleus, cell body, axon, myelin sheath, node of ranvier, axon, axon terminals, synapses, and the muscles. 

In a healthy neuron, the cell is able to conduct an action potential to make a muscle move.  However in a person with ALS, the neuron is deteriorating and loses the ability to create the action potential and causes the muscle to atrophy. 

One Comment

  1. This project shows the difference between a healthy motor neuron and the ALS motor neuron extremely well when looking at the project you can instantly tell which motor neuron is which. The way that you showed the healthy and the atrophied muscle I feel is a really good depiction of the difference and made it clear that the muscles were different.

    The way that you chose to use a bright blue color for the healthy neuron really depicts that it is healthy. The myelin sheath being so defined, full, and healthy looking as well as the way that the dendrites are displayed being full and branched out as well as the axon being able to hold up the cell body shows how healthy the neuron is.

    The ALS neuron being grey and the axon not being able to hold up the cell body really shows how unhealthy and how negatively affected the neuron is. The myelin sheath being so thin and string-like and the dendrite being so short and compact really helps to show how much the motor neuron has degenerated.

    The difference in the axon terminals really shows the difference between the needs of these two motor neurons. The healthy neuron having long root-like terminals shows its need for a strong base because of everything the neuron is doing. The short inactive looking terminals depict the lack of need from the ALS motor neuron to have a strong base and show its lack of ability.

    Brianna Majors

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