Axons are an essential component of the human nervous system. These elongated nerve fibers are responsible for transmitting electrical signals, called action potentials, from one nerve cell to another. Axons can vary in length, with some reaching up to several feet in the human body. The proper function of axons is crucial for proper communication between neurons, and disruptions in axonal integrity can lead to a wide range of neurological disorders. For example, axonal damage is a prominent feature of multiple sclerosis, which results in a degeneration of the protective myelin sheath that covers axons. Research in neurological therapy often focuses on preventing or repairing axonal damage. Studies have shown that certain drugs and growth factors can promote axonal regeneration, while others can protect axons from further damage. Moreover, emerging technologies such as electrical stimulation and optogenetics have shown promise in restoring axonal function in cases where damage or degeneration has occurred. Understanding the specific mechanisms that govern axonal health and repair is crucial for the development of effective therapies for neurological diseases. In summary, axons play a vital role in neural communication, and research focusing on their health and repair can lead to the development of novel therapies for neurological disorders.

From: Neurobiology

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Editor-in-chief: Zheng Jiang, Department of Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Publication Type: Open Access Journal
Description: The brain, spinal cord, and nerves make up the nervous system. Together they control all the workings of the body. When something goes wrong with a part of your nervous system, you can have trouble moving, speaking, swallowing, breathing, or learning. You can also have problems with your memory, senses, or mood.