A new discovery was made recently at the University Of Virginia School Of Medicine, which changes the way people have thought about the relationship between the brain and the immune system.
For decades, researchers and medical professionals believed there was no direct relation between the brain and the immune system, however, doctors have discovered that there is a connection between the immune system and the brain though meningeal lymphatic vessels.
Dr. Antoine Louveau found a way to look at a mouse’s meninges (membranes that cover the brain) all at one time. It was when he observed a slide of the meninges that he discovered the tiny vessels that caused him to look at the lymphatic vessels, finding the vessels in humans too.
Louveau and his associates believe these vessels were missed in humans for so long because of the vessels were “very well hidden” and “so close to the blood vessels…” It is also important to note that the researchers also found that the vessels look different with age and the aging process of the vessels needs more research.
So what does it all mean for multiple sclerosis patients?
We won’t know right away, as this information is going to lead to new studies and treatments for all neurological diseases, including MS. These vessels are thought to have a major role in the connection between a neurological disease and its immune system component. It was noted that the vessels could play a role in such diseases because they are not efficiently removing proteins, causing build ups in the brain.
What could these vessels not be removing in MS patients? Or is it removing too much? What discoveries do you think could be made specifically to MS from these new vessels?
Vanessa is a 28 year old living in Massachusetts with her husband and 7 year old Puggle, named Rocky. She currently works in an elementary school and as a fitness instructor and health/fitness coach. She was diagnosed in April of 2014 with relapse-remitting MS and is currently taking Tecfidera. She enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.