Immune System and the Brain

June 8, 2015

For most of the history of neurology, it was thought that the brain lacks a traditional lymphatic system; the system used by the body to direct immune responses. It was always believed that the brain had to have some kind of system in place for it and it was long believed to stem from the meninges, the three thin membranes surrounding the brain, but has been poorly understood.

However, very recently published at June 1, 2015, an article in the journal Nature, titled “Structural and functional features of central nervous system lymphatic vessels” scientists have found traditional lymphatic vessels, albeit small ones, extending up to the brain. They primarily follow a major blood vessel toward the sinuses and aren’t easily imaged, resulting in them being missed completely for so long. The researches were quite surprised themselves, with one stating he didn’t think discoveries of body parts this significant happen anymore and haven’t since the middle of last century.

The reason why these vessels are particularly significant for healthcare in general is because many diseases that affect the brain such as Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Autism may stem from interruptions to this normal immunological flow. There is especially hope for Alzheimer’s as it’s already been noted that these lymphatic vessels seem to look different with age. In the chiropractic sense, there are already numerous studies showing the effect of chiropractic care on the immune system, so now this shows another avenue for care to focus on.

Certainly this will lead to several more related studies, especially on those aforementioned diseases to see exactly how these lymphatic vessels seem to affect, or perhaps even are affected by various diseases, so for now we can only wait and see what the results are. But for now, this is certainly a groundbreaking study that may have huge impacts on care of diseases of the brain.

--Joshua J. J. Jorde D.C.

Read the abstract here