The University of Virginia Health System has released new and interesting findings about the immune system. These findings reveal that the brain is indeed linked to the immune system through specific vessels that were once thought to be non-existent. This information is said to provide new hope for those suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Autism among others.
Newly Chartered Territory
Most scientists believed that the entire human body was precisely mapped and there was nothing new to learn; however, they were completely wrong. These new components of the immune system were discovered in the lab of Jonathan Kipnis, Ph.D at the University Of Virginia School Of Medicine by Antoine Louveau, PhD. Louveau discovered patterns which looked like lymphatic vessels on mouse sample slides. Those patterns turned out to be proof that the brain connects to the peripheral immune system.
The neuroscientist discovered lymphatic vessels right beneath the skull. This means that the brain is in fact connected to the body’s immune system and raises many cure and treatment possibilities which did not exist before. It was previously believed that the base of the skull was where the immune, or lymphatic, system ended. This has always been a tricky area to image. These structures were hidden by a known blood vessel for the sinuses. This discovery opens many new treatment pathways for neurological disorders.
Certain disorders cause an accumulation of plaque protein in the brain. While this does not explain everything, it does reveal possibilities. Scientists believe that the buildup is a result of the meningeal lymphatic vessel failure. These structure are thought to be responsible for removing plaque buildup prior to reaching the brain. When they do not perform this function properly, this accumulation is allowed to reach the brain and continue to build there.
An example is plaque buildup in patients suffering Alzheimer’s disease. The exact mechanisms are still being studied. Still, most scientists strongly agree that this plaque accumulation plays a very large role in cellular death and loss in the brain of these patients.
These new findings are thought to be able to alter and encourage researchers to perceive neuro-immune interaction in an entirely different light. This should lead to new types of research and ways to treat neuro-immune disorders. This discovery has also shed some light on the aging process, especially in relation to disease. The lymphatic vessels appear different as individuals get older.
Shed Some Light
This new discovery offers food for thought to all. Many pharmaceutical answers do not provide actual cures and in many cases did not provide any type of relief. This could be, at least in part, due to the fact that body functions and the impact of disease is still not completely understood. Many people believe that medication should never be the first answer.
The body is an amazing machine and when it is properly cared for it becomes self-healing. Balancing and nurturing the mind, body, and spirit must be a daily endeavor. Prayer and faith should be an integral part of daily living as well as fighting disease. Many times healing the mind and spirit will allow the physical body to naturally follow.