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Incredible discovery could revolutionise treatment of neurological disease

by Sasha Crowe Published on 3rd Jun 2015

by Sasha Crowe Published on 3rd June 2015

A team of researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered lymphatic vessels lining the dural sinuses, which links the brain to the immune system. This incredible, text-book altering finding changes the way neurological diseases are approached and studied, including those associated with aging such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

By physically connecting the brain to the peripheral immune system through meningeal lymphatic vessels, it gives researchers the ability to actually look at the potential mechanisms behind diseases. This removes the blanket of obscurity and mystery previously attached to the study of neuro-immune interaction.

Armed with this new information, Jonathan Kipnis, a professor at the UVA’s neuroscience department, noted that when looking at diseases such as Alzheimer’s, in which accumulations of large chunks of protein are usually found in the brain, this could be potentially explained by improper drainage from these vessels.

Ultimately, this new revelation will massively benefit the study of many diseases, ranging from autism to multiple sclerosis.

The findings of the study will be published in the journal Nature’s upcoming print edition, and can already be found online on Nature’s website.

Find out more @ UVA press release