The study of myelin dates from the introduction of Carl Weigert's staining method,1 in 1884, but its composition is still a matter of considerable obscurity, and ignorance is almost complete concerning the manner of its deposition and its chemical synthesis. Its origin from the blood would seem to be a fairly sound postulate, but little if anything can be stated concerning the physical or chemical mechanism by which the ingredients are assembled.
The term myelin is applied by morphologists to the lipins that form the medullary sheaths of nerves; by chemists it is restricted to fat-like substances which originate within necrotic cells in the living body.2 As a generalization, one might say that there is evidence to indicate that myelin consists of cholesterol; cholesterol esters; glycolipins or cerebrosides, consisting of fatty acids with nitrogen and a carbohydrate group; phospholipins or phosphatides, consisting of fatty acids with nitrogen
CORNWALL LH, BRICKNER RM. THE BEHAVIOR OF CERTAIN LIPOIDS DURING THE PROCESS OF MYELINOGENYA MICROCHEMICAL INVESTIGATION. Arch NeurPsych. 1929;21(6):1310-1317. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1929.02210240085005