Nodes of Ranvier (pronounced rawn-vee-ay) – gaps in axon insulation
These are gaps in an axon’s insulating sheath of myelin which help speed up the signal sent along the axon.
Loads of reindeer (nodes of Ranvier) when they were young were made to jump a gap full of axes (axons) to see if they would eventually be good enough to be Santa reindeer.
Myelin does not form a continuous sheath along the axon – it is divided by a periodic gap known as the node of Ranvier, named after the French physician and anatomist, Louis-Antoine Ranvier, who discovered it. These nodes help to speed up the signals sent along the axon.