This first article of this review deals with neuroscientific aspects of immune-mediated demyelinating neuropathies. It describes the anatomy and physiology of normal myelinated axons, methods of studying peripheral nerve physiology, pathophysiological consequences of demyelination or damage at the node of Ranvier, and the mechanisms that may lead to impaired axonal membrane dysfunction or axonal degeneration. This article (part I) will be followed by a second (part II) dealing with clinical aspects of these neuropathies.
Keywords: demyelination; excitability; immune-mediated neuropathy; ion channels; safety factor.
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