The Myelin sheath
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Why is the transmission of impulses slow in a non myelinated axon?
The whole membrane must be depolarised section by section
Why is transmission of impulses faster in a myelinated axon?
- The myelin sheath prevents the diffusion of ions across the membrane so depolarisation only occurs at the nodes of ranvier
- The impulse then jumps from node to node, missing out large sections of the axon
What other factors can speed up the rate of transmission of a nerve impulse?
- Higher temperature (more kinetic energy)
- Thicker axon diameter which reduced leakages of ions from the axon
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