A new study conducted by the University of Virginia Center for Brain Immunology and Glia revealed a surprising link between the immune system and the brain.
The discovery has immense potential for redefining therapies and treatments that target such neurological disease as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis or even autism.
The study, conducted on mice and not yet replicated still fascinates the scientific community.
Holding the results in high regard, Doctor Kevin Lee from the University of Virginia commented that:
“The first time these guys showed me the basic result, I just said one sentence: They’ll have to change the textbooks”.
Many others echo the same praises regarding the study and its results. What the new study revealed to the scientific community is that there is a direct connection between the lymphatic system and the brain, contrary to what was previously known.
The lymphatic vessels discovered under the microscope do not feature in any textbook. It is a brand new segment that only now catches the attention of neuroscientists. The lymphatic system per se is not part of the body’s immune system. Yet, it does connect to other systems of the body.
Until recently, it was believed that the lymphatic vessels end at the base of the skull. The new study reveals that in fact there are such vessels above the skull base, hiding from usual imaging techniques.
Being connected to the immune system, the lymphatic system could easily be used as a pathway for ever increasing effective treatment in neurological diseases.
Trials and replicating are ahead of the scientific team who wishes to understand the implications of these vessels in treating any neurological disease that also present an immune component.
An example given by researchers was that the discovery of lymphatic vessels above the skull base could indicate a reason for the expansive accumulation of proteins in the brain of a patient diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
The findings of the study have been published in the journal Nature.
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