Just to give a little background, here is a neuron ...
I love neuropsych. The brain is really fascinating.
"There are perhaps about one hundred billion neurons, or nerve cells, in the brain, and in a single human brain the number of possible inter-connections between these cells is greater than the number of atoms in the universe."
I remember the first time I was teaching Biological Psychology and had to draw a neuron. It looked like a pre-schooler's version of a nerve cell. My sister Mel said to draw it biiiiiggg, so I started at one end of the white board and drew it larger than life. That was fun. And she made me say "terminal bouton" not "terminal button", so I would sound more like a medical student and less like a psychologist.
I like this image, too.
Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune disease wherein the myelin sheath (the little red thingies) ... um ... demyelinates. That means that communication is disrupted, because the job of a neuron is to talk to other cells.
Myelin speeds the nerve impulse along. It does not conduct electricity (which is what a nerve impulse is made of) and the message jumps along the axon of the neuron, from little spaces between the myelin, thereby saving time and going faster.
When I was teaching Intro Psych when I would teach about this, I would make the whole class act it out. I made the nerve impulse (the action potential) dress up in a cape and mask (because Action Potential sounds like a super-hero name to me) and had them run up and down a row of other students, acting as other neurons. When acting the part of a myelinated neuron, I made the Action Potential run real fast and leap has they ran down the aisle. It was pretty fun -- getting a bunch of University students outside, acting silly. But to this day, I will meet students who remember how a neuron works.
Myelin is made of up mostly fat and I CANNOT BELIEVE that my brain is losing fat, when the rest of my body is intent on packing it on. If I even have MS, which has not yet been confirmed....