AUG 20, 2018 6:31 AM PDT

Yes, Your Brain Can Clean Itself

The lymphatic system is the body's way of keeping cells moving along. It's an integral part of the circulatory system as well as the immune system. Lymph is a clear fluid that carries immune cells to lymph nodes. It’s also a crucial part of clearing cellular waste from the body. In 2015, neuroscientist Jonathan Kipnis at UVA and his team discovered that the brain does indeed have a lymphatic system. For hundreds of years, it was believed that there was no way to "drain the brain" of cellular waste products. The brain sits in about half a cup of lymphatic fluid and produces about 24 ml of fluid every hour. Clearly, that all has to go somewhere. The brain’s lymphatic system can be compared to the pipes and sewers that take waste out of our homes and dispose of it, but the brain does so in a much less messy way.

Waste from the brain seeps out of the blood vessels into lymphatic vessels that are located in the dura of the brain. Recent research shows that this drainage system could be a factor in neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The lymphatic system also plays a role in moving immune cells around to where they need to be. Lymphatic vessels do not have a protective layer that keeps out toxins like the blood-brain barrier does for cerebral blood vessels. This means the immune system can be disrupted, but now that researchers know it exists, more studies can be done to find how it impacts brain health.

About the Author
English
I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 27, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Our Chemistry Connection to Stars and the Cosmo
NOV 27, 2020
Our Chemistry Connection to Stars and the Cosmo
A common entity that connects everything from majestically looking galaxies and nebula to the enormously diversified bio ...
DEC 28, 2020
Space & Astronomy
China Willing to Share New Moon Samples
DEC 28, 2020
China Willing to Share New Moon Samples
China has recovered the first new moon rock samples in decades, and from a previously unexplored part of the moon. Now w ...
MAR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Sea Slug Shows Extreme Case of Regeneration
MAR 09, 2021
Sea Slug Shows Extreme Case of Regeneration
Some of the most interesting—and possibly strangest—scientific discoveries happen by accident. According to ...
APR 21, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Earth-like Planet Discovered Orbiting Red Dwarf Star
APR 21, 2021
Earth-like Planet Discovered Orbiting Red Dwarf Star
Researchers from Spain have discovered an Earth-like planet orbiting the star, GJ-740, a red dwarf star located 36 light ...
JUL 09, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Cluster of Free-Floating Planets Captured by Kepler Telescope
JUL 09, 2021
Cluster of Free-Floating Planets Captured by Kepler Telescope
The Kepler Space Telescope has captured evidence of mysterious free-floating planets, or planets that are alone in deep ...
JUL 15, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
JUL 15, 2021
Modern Slavery in Greece Spotted from Space
Migrant settlements being exploited for work have been spotted with satellite imagery by researchers led by the Universi ...
Loading Comments...