3
$\begingroup$

From what I read on the NatGeo app, it stated that the speed of the electrical impulses that are sent by a neurone will be approximately 332 kilometers per hour.

Will the speed of this electrical impulse decreases over the years as we age?

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

As @Armatus notes, it is now generally understood that age-related cognitive decline is related to loss of myelination and axon damage (see, for example, Kohama et al, 2012). Myelin degeneration is also likely the cause of some age-related peripheral neuropathies. Loss of myelination (due to inflammation) is also the mechanism behind multiple sclerosis.

Myelin allows for fast and reliable transmission of action potentials by a mechanism known as saltatory conduction. This is necessary to compensate for axons which have small diameters (unlike the squid giant axon) and travel long distances. Degraded myelin will reduce conduction velocity and can result in propogation failures. The links @nico provided in his comment above are useful references.


Kohama, S.G., Rosene, D.L., Sherman, L.S., 2012. Age-related changes in human and non-human primate white matter: from myelination disturbances to cognitive decline. Age (Dordr) 34, 1093–1110.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.