My STEAM project focuses on multiple sclerosis and it covers the objective “Explain how neurons carry an electrical charge”. An individual with multiple sclerosis will have difficulty with sensing, cognitive function, and muscle movement. It is a disease caused by the demyelination of axons, which stops neurons from sending signals to one another. The main aspect of multiple sclerosis that I wanted to focus on with this project is how demyelination stops a signal from reaching the end of the neuron. I built a model of a healthy axon and a demyelinated axon in Minecraft to show how this happens.

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  1. The project expands on the course objective of explaining how neurons carry an electrical charge. Multiple sclerosis is a condition that causes problems with signal transduction and originates from the myelin sheath of the axon is attacked or damaged. This causes the action potential to be slower or not reach the axon terminal and release neurotransmitters to cause the next neuron to have an action potential, and so on and so forth. A neuron with a healthy myelin sheath has an action potential that travels down the axon from the dendrites and “jumps” between the gaps of the myelin sheath. Myelin sheaths are formed by Schwann cells(in the peripheral nervous system) and oligodendrocytes(in the central nervous system). Multiple sclerosis can be caused by alcohol abuse, certain drugs, autoimmune disease, and strokes. Not only is muscle coordination and movement affected by the action potential not reaching its destination, brain function can suffer as well. The brain functions that are affected are cognitive-related functions like thinking, perceiving, and vision.

    Cirrus Jones

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