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White matter (myelin) has been demonstrated as an etiological factor in a wide range of psychiatric disorders, including depression and schizophrenia. There is solid evidence that myelination continues for decades in the human brain and it is modifiable by experience. Myelination impacts information processing by regulating the velocity and synchrony of impulse conduction between distant cortical regions. Myelin also limits the critical period for learning through inhibitory proteins that suppress axon sprouting and synaptogenesis.” These findings represent a solid foundation, but future research will have to demonstrate specific patterns of connectivity that are related to known issues with mental health.
KeywordsMyelin Myelination Neural impulse conduction Critical period and empirical validation Depression
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