New Discovery Revolutionizes Brain Science

For decades, scientists thought they had fully explored the physical structure of the human body. But recently, researchers at the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia discovered that the brain is connected directly to the immune system by vessels previously unknown. This discovery can create dramatic changes in the way we understand and treat diseases such as autism, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.

Jonathan Kipnis, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neuroscience and director of UVA UV absorbers Immunology center of the brain and glia (BIG), explains the importance of the discovery

instead of asking, “How can we study the immune response of the brain?” “Why have multiple sclerosis patients with immune attacks?” Now we can address this mechanically. Because the brain is like any other tissue connected to peripheral immune system through meningeal lymphatics. Completely changes the way we perceive the neuro-immune interaction. We always realized that before as something esoteric that can not be studied. But now we can do mechanistic questions.

We believe that for every neurological disease that have an immune component to it, these vessels may play an important role. It is hard to imagine that these vessels would not be involved in a disease [neurological] with an immunological component.

Dr. Kevin Lee is chairman of the Department of Neuroscience UVA. The first time researchers showed him her findings, she said, “They’ll have to change textbooks!” Because no one had imagined that there was a lymphatic system to the central nervous system, the discovery of UVA is required to fundamentally alter the way people predict the relationship between the central nervous system and the immune system.

The researcher who discovered the vessels was Antoine Louveau, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory Kipnis’. He developed a method for mounting a mouse meninges (the membranes covering the brain) on a single slide, so it could be seen as a whole. He notices a pattern that seemed distributed within the cells of the immune system in the slides occurred vessels. proof of lymphatic vessels passed, and they were there.

It was pretty easy, actually. There was a catch: We have fixed the meninges within the cranial vault, so that the tissue is held in physiological condition, and then dissected. If we had done the other way around, it would not have worked.

called Jony [Kipnis] for the microscope and said, ‘I think we have something.

lymphatic vessels of the brain were so well hidden. That following a major blood vessel down into the breast area, and are located so close to the blood vessel that is difficult to see. living image and excellent surgical skills have enabled researchers to see what had never been seen before, and since have replicated the findings, eradication doubt.

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