Quantcast
Connect with us

Researchers find mysterious vessels in your brain — and it’s going to change everything

Published

on

Researchers have discovered tiny vessels connecting the brain to the immune system – which could profoundly alter the treatment of autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

The team at the University of Virginia School of Medicine found the brain – like every other tissue – is connected to the immune system through lymphatic vessels, although these had never been detected despite a thorough mapping of the body.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I really did not believe there are structures in the body that we are not aware of. I thought the body was mapped,” said Jonathan Kipnis, a neuroscience professor and director of the university’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia. “I thought that these discoveries ended somewhere around the middle of the last century — but apparently they have not.”

The vessels are “well hidden” along a major blood vessel that travels down into the sinuses, the researchers said, and were discovered only after devising a new way to examine the membrane covering the brain on a single microscope slide.

Antoine Louveau, one of the researchers, noticed vessel-like patterns in the immune cells on his slides, and tests revealed they were lymphatic vessels.

“The first time these guys showed me the basic result, I just said one sentence: ‘They’ll have to change the textbooks,’” said Kevin Lee, chair of the university’s neuroscience department.

The discovery could radically alter the study and treatment of neurological diseases because brain diseases can now be understood mechanically instead of abstractly, researchers said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It changes entirely the way we perceive the neuro-immune interaction,” Kipnis said. “We always perceived it before as something esoteric that can’t be studied – but now we can ask mechanistic questions.”

For example, Kipnis said scientists already understand that Alzheimer’s disease is the result of protein accumulations in the brain, but the discovery suggests the lymphatic vessels – which change with age – simply don’t remove them efficiently enough.

The findings have been published in the journal Nature, and the researchers said they could radically alter the way scientists understand the central nervous system’s relationship with the immune system.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Mike Pence’s office punishes CNN for refusing to air his portion of coronavirus briefing

Published

on

Vice President Mike Pence has kept the nation's top health officials from appearing on CNN since the network stopped carrying the daily coronavirus briefings in their entirety.

The vice president's office, which is responsible for booking those officials to deliver pandemic information, told CNN that Dr. Deborah Birx or Dr. Anthony Fauci would not be permitted to appear on the network until it carries the briefings, including Pence's remarks, in full.

"When you guys cover the briefings with the health officials then you can expect them back on your air," a Pence spokesperson told CNN.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Well-spoken cultist’: Bill Barr trashed for praising ‘statesmanlike’ Trump and urging an end to COVID-19 lockdowns

Published

on

During an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham Wednesday night, Attorney General Bill Barr praised President Trump's "statesman-like" effort at the "beginning" of the coronavirus epidemic where he "tried to bring people together" while "working with all the governors" -- a characterization that did not go over well with many of the President's critics on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/matthewamiller/status/1248241999297339394

https://twitter.com/andeparks/status/1248255118291742722

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

The Supreme Court is poised to extend gun rights at the worst possible time

Published

on

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” —Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

As the deadly COVID-19 contagion sweeps across the country, gun sales are surging, spurred in many regions by panic buying and purchases by first-time firearm owners. Fearful and insecure Americans are taking advantage of weak and ineffective gun-control laws and stocking up, as President Trump might say, “like never before.”

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image