Acetylcholine is the building block of myelin, which acts to insulate the axon and neuron, thus providing moisture and lubricants to the nervous system.
The myelin insulation of the neuron and axon provides conductivity to the nervous system.
- Neurons circuits to fire more rapidly
- Neurons to recover faster after signals have been sent
- Neurons greater processing capacity
When myelin increases in thickness, the neurons fir at a faster rate and thus you think faster. The more the neuronal connections are used (through learning), the myelin insulation increases and becomes thicker and heavier.
Cognitive decline and memory loss occurs when the myelin decay and the neurotransmitters get disrupted as their pathways lose their lubrication. This is when the brain starts to short-circuit due to the lack of optimal myelin and acetylcholine.
Table 1 illustrates the composition of the myelin in a human as compared to a bovine and rat:
Table 1 Composition of CNS Myelin and Brain
a Protein and lipid figures in percent dry weight; all others in percent total lipid weight.
b Plasmalogens are primarily ethanolamine phosphatides.
Source: Characteristic Composition of Myelin Basic Neurochemistry: Molecular, Cellular and Medical Aspects. 6th edition. Siegel GJ, Agranoff BW, Albers RW, et al., editors. Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven; Copyright © 1999, American Society for Neurochemistry
There are a number of natural substances that have been researched and studied for their ability to enhance the function of the myelin sheath: