Does Myelin-Related Brain Growth Play A Key Role In Teen’s Cognitive Development?

Myelin, in simple terms, is the insulation around the electrical wires of the nervous system and it helps to pass the electrical impulses faster and more efficiently. The wrapping of myelin around the electrical wires called axons is called myelination. This is an important process in any individual’s life. The myelin around these axons is commonly called a myelin sheath. 

The process of myelination happens even before a baby is born but it is finished only in the late teens. By the time a kid approaches the sixth or seventh year of his life, the brain has grown to almost its maximum capacity. In the coming tween and teen years, the size of the brain does not get much bigger, but it will develop and get more complex. 

Teenage, the years from thirteen to nineteen, face the key development in the structure of the brain and are often referred to as the sharing years of the brain. 

What Is Myelin-Related Brain Growth?

It is essential to remember that growth happens to not only the myelin in the brain in the teenage years, but a lot of other parts of the brain are forming and developing. A myelin-related brain growth can be said as the growth and strengthening of the myelin sheath around the electrical wires of the brain that carry the messages, also called the nervous impulses. 

So, when these electrical impulses are efficiently transmitted, what will happen? 

When your body has better, improvised, and advanced message delivery, it will start to function more effectively. 

Myelin-Related Brain Growth

Brain Development During Myelin-Related Brain Growth

Myelination is a key phase as it helps to improve the quality of a teen’s life. The teen will be able to understand things better and respond accordingly. The information that you get in your teen brain will be processed more effectively. The process of myelination establishes a more advanced connection with the other parts of the brain, making the brain work in coordination. 

You might have noticed that the same things that confused you to your core will be simple to you when you grow up. 

However, you are to understand that all the electrical wires (axons) of the brain do not need to be necessarily myelinated.

Common Symptoms Of Myelin-Related Brain Growth

  • You will feel that you can better coordinate the information that you receive 
  • You will be able to understand things in more detail
  • You will clarification in the messages that you get

Generally, you will feel that you are doing better in life and will feel that life is getting easier and that you are figuring your way around life. 

What Happens When You Lose Myelin?

This can be called demyelination, or the process that makes you lose the myelin from the brain. This can cause  you to have multiple neurodegenerative diseases (the diseases in which the neurons or the brain cells are damaged) 

When your brain cells face damage it will affect the whole working rhythm of the body. 

How Can You Know That You Are Losing Myelin?

The common symptoms are:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Loss of hearing
  • Numbness or/ and both in legs and arms
  • Loss of memory
  • Loss of balance 
  • Control over bowel movements will be lost
  • Control over bladder movements will be lost
  • Fatigue 
  • A ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

These symptoms will be triggered when you are exposed to heat even when you take a hot shower. 

The Bottom Line

Myelination is an essential part of cognitive development during adolescence. The teen years are the time most of the changes will take place but it can take more years into your 20s for this to get completed.

Both a lack of myelin as well as an excess of myelin can be an issue for you. The brain impulses get transmitted better through axons that are coated with myelin. In those axons in which a myelin coating is not present, it can take longer for the messages to get passed through. 

Read More:- Teen Mental Health: All You Need To Know Mood Disorders


Q. What increases myelin in the brain?

Sleeping well, exercising, trying to learn new things, and exposure to sunlight can all increase myelin in the brain. In dietary terms, you can include the B group of vitamins, DHA, and choline to increase myelin. 

Q. What happens when you have too much myelin?

Just like how the lack of myelin can cause health implications, the presence of myelin in excess amounts can also lead to issues. Too much myelin can interrupt the sensitive balance of the brain in communication. 

Q. At what age is brain myelination complete?

It starts before birth and is at higher rates in infancy until two years of age. This might be completed in the teen years or can take as long as 25 or 30. 

About the Author

Nicole Carter is a dedicated and passionate nutritionist, committed to helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals through the power of proper nutrition. With a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science and years of practical experience.

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