Until recently, no one could find a connection between the brain and the immune system because no one could find any lymphatic vessels in the brain. For centuries, scientists and medical practitioners were convinced that the brain (part of the central nervous system) was kept safe from pathogens, since it lacked a direct connection to the lymphatic system (which performs important immune functions).
However, a team of researchers at the University Of Virginia School Of Medicine have done the unthinkable: they have discovered a new series of lymphatic vessels in the body that connect the brain to the immune system.
Lymphatic system clears the body of toxins
The lymphatic vessels carry immune cells, including the white blood cells, and rid the human body of dead blood cells, toxins and waste. These vessels may have gone undetected until now since they were hiding in the meninges (the layer of tissue that covers the brain) – the membrane that is frequently discarded when the brain is prepared for analysis.
Dr. Jonathan Kipnis, lead researcher and director of University of Virginia’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia, commented:
“I really did not believe there are structures in the body that we are not aware of. I thought the body was mapped. I thought that these discoveries ended somewhere around the middle of the last century. But apparently they have not.”
Central nervous lymphatic system
The discovery of the central nervous system lymphatic system not only challenges the basic assumptions in neuroimmunology, it has the potential to revolutionize future treatment of patients suffering from neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases associated with immune system dysfunction such as autism, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. Dr. Kipnis added:
“Instead of asking: ‘How do we study the immune response of the brain?’ ‘Why do multiple sclerosis patients have the immune attacks?’ now we can approach this mechanistically. Because the brain is like every other tissue connected to the peripheral immune system through meningeal lymphatic vessels. It changes entirely the way we perceive the neuroimmune interaction.
All neurological diseases have an immune component
“We always perceived it before as something esoteric that can’t be studied. But now we can ask mechanistic questions. We believe that for every neurological disease that has an immune component to it, these vessels may play a major role. It’s hard to imagine that these vessels would not be involved in a neurological disease with an immune component.
“For example, take Alzheimer’s disease. In Alzheimer’s, there are accumulations of big protein chunks in the brain. We think they may be accumulating in the brain because they’re not being efficiently removed by these vessels.”
Direct connection between the brain and immune system
The discovery was made possible by Dr .Antoine Louveau, a researcher in Dr. Kipnis’ lab. The lymphatic vessels were detected after Dr. Louveau mounted a mouse’s meninges on a single slide — rather than slicing them up, which is how they’re normally studied — in order to study the mouse’s brain as a whole, under high-powered microscopes.
A microscopic examination revealed immune cells spread across the meninges in vessel-like patterns; further testing confirmed them to be lymphatic vessels. Later, the team was able to show how the lymphatic vessels carry immune cells from the cerebrospinal fluid, along veins in the sinuses, and into nearby deep cervical lymph nodes — a direct connection between the brain and the immune system.
While the discovery of the new lymphatic vessels leads to more questions than answers, Kevin Lee, the chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Virginia (who wasn’t involved in the research) is buoyant. Recalling the first time Dr. Kipnis showed him their results, Lee remarked:
This new discovery could be a game changer for many
“I just said one sentence: ‘They’ll have to rewrite the textbooks’. There has never been a lymphatic system for the central nervous system, and it was very clear from that first singular observation — and they’ve done many studies since then to bolster the finding — that it will fundamentally change the way people look at the central nervous system’s relationship with the immune system.”
An estimated 8% of the U.S. population suffers from one of the 80 to 100 currently recognized autoimmune disorders. With more than 5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s and over 3.5 million living with an autism spectrum disorder, this new discovery could be a game changer.
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
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Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
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To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
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Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
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Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
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5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.