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How Does Myelin Contribute to Brain Plasticity?


Bianca Williams
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The Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) and the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) are delighted to announce their strategic collaboration on priority areas including scientific training and career development. The two organizations recognize the importance of thinking globally about science and the enrichment that comes from a global perspective. The FENS Committee on Higher Education and Training (CHET) and the SfN Neuroscience Training Committee (NTC) are working closely together to exchange in-depth information, share tools, and develop coordinated training activities for their members.

Interest in myelinated cells for neurobiologists has essentially been driven by research on demyelinating disorders. The majority of myelin is formed postnatally in the rodents and by adulthood in humans. Although myelin plasticity in response to neuronal activity is an old observation, its extent has been appreciated relatively recently. However, over recent years, myelinating cells have been found to participate to neural plasticity, being modified by neural activity, and in turn modulating the activity of neurons, and possibly vasculature.

It is now accepted that myelin can be shaped by environmental stimuli and undergo significant structural changes throughout life. This fine-tuning mechanism enhances neuronal function by orchestrating adjustments in myelin structure and axo-glial interactions. The potential link between this adaptive myelination and neuropsychiatric conditions is an active area of research. New directions in myelin research would be highlighted in this webinar.

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