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Science Hour: A Brain Process That Impacts Language!

 

While in grad school, the topics that fascinated me the most (and continue to do so) were anything related to neurology and its effects on cognition and language.  With that in mind, below are some interesting facts about a necessary neurological process that is vital to our communication.

 

Throughout our childhood and early adulthood, our brains develop at a very rapid pace,  constantly sending and receiving signals.  As children, our brains have to adjust and learn to manage all the signals effectively and efficiently.  That’s where myelination comes in.

 

Myelination is a process that speeds up nerve cells in the brain, allowing us to receive and create messages more quickly. Our brains begin myelinating in utero and continue throughout early adulthood.

 

When myelination goes south….

 

A lack of sufficient myelination can lead to a variety of negative effects on cognitive functioning and can also produce common communication deficits in adults (see blog post). De-myelination can occur due to conditions such as:

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Alcoholism

  • Poor diet (lack of nutrients, too much sugar)

  • Poor sleep quality

  • Liver damage

  • Guillain–Barré syndrome

What you can do??

 

To ensure that you or a loved one maintains a healthy level of myelin in the nervous system, get proper sleep and eat a balanced diet that includes essential nutrients.

 

As usual, contact us at District Speech for the treatment of speech and language conditions, including those that may be associated with de-myelination.

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