Navigation Links
New 'Brain-Cleaning' System Discovered in Mice

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The brain has a cleaning system that drains away waste products, a new study involving mice suggests.

Using advanced imaging technology, researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York found this previously unrecognized "glymphatic system," which they said functions in the brain under the direction of glial cells, similar to the body's lymphatic system. The researchers suggest their findings could lead to improved treatments for neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, stroke and Parkinson's disease.

Scientists note, however, that research with animals often fails to provide similar results in humans.

"Waste clearance is of central importance to every organ, and there have been long-standing questions about how the brain gets rid of its waste," senior study author Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, co-director of the university's Center for Translational Neuromedicine, said in a school news release. "This work shows that the brain is cleansing itself in a more organized way and on a much larger scale than has been realized previously."

The study was published online Aug. 15 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

The newly discovered system moves cerebrospinal fluid, which cleanses brain tissue, throughout the brain more efficiently than previously thought, the researchers said. Under pressure, the system pushes large volumes of the fluid through the brain to remove waste forcefully.

"It's as if the brain has two garbage haulers -- a slow one that we've known about, and a fast one that we've just met," Nedergaard said. "Given the high rate of metabolism in the brain, and its exquisite sensitivity, it's not surprising that its mechanisms to rid itself of waste are more specialized and extensive than previously realized."

Pumped into the brain along channels surrounding arteries, cerebrospinal fluid washes through brain tissue before collecting in channels around veins and draining from the brain, the researchers explained.

They said the system was previously undetected because it operates only in living brains. Development of two-photon microscopy has now enabled scientists to study the brain of a living animal.

"It's a hydraulic system," Nedergaard said. "Once you open it, you break the connections and it cannot be studied. We are lucky enough to have technology now that allows us to study the system intact, to see it in operation."

The researchers specifically examined amyloid beta, the protein that accumulates in the brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease. More than half of the amyloid removed from the brain of a mouse was drained through the glymphatic system, they found.

"Understanding how the brain copes with waste is critical. In every organ, waste clearance is as basic an issue as how nutrients are delivered," Jeffrey Iliff, the study's first author and a research assistant professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center, said in the news release. "In the brain, it's an especially interesting subject because in essentially all neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, protein waste accumulates and eventually suffocates and kills the neuronal network of the brain."

If the brain's cleansing system doesn't function properly, due to disease, injury or aging, waste may begin to accumulate in the brain, the researchers said.

"This may be what is happening with amyloid deposits in Alzheimer's disease," Iliff said. "Perhaps increasing the activity of the glymphatic system might help prevent amyloid deposition from building up, or could offer a new way to clean out buildups of the material in established Alzheimer's disease."

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about the brain and how it works.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: University of Rochester Medical Center, news release, Aug. 15, 2012

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New regulatory mechanism discovered in cell system for eliminating unneeded proteins
2. A learning health system moves from idea to action
3. ONR system selected to help DoD track human subjects studies
4. Mayo Clinic Health System receives grant to improve rural health care
5. Mouse With Human-Like Immune System Could Advance AIDS Research
6. Decline of immune system with aging may have a genetic cause
7. Aging Boomers Mental Health Woes Will Swamp Health System: Report
8. PMIC Announces Release of New CDT 2013 Dental Procedure Coding System
9. Poor Sleep Affects Immune System Much Like Physical Stress
10. QuickMedical® Offers The WaveSense Blood Glucose Monitoring System
11. AFTS Labs Partners With Physicians To Complement NY's Mandated I-STOP Tracking System For Pain Pill Prescriptions: A Recipe For A Safer Community
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
New 'Brain-Cleaning' System Discovered in Mice
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... While it’s often important to ... Fortunately, an inventor from Austin, Texas, has identified a solution. , She developed a ... or restricted lighting. As such, it eliminates the need to turn on a light ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law Office ... of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our office ... forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ElderCounsel ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run brought out many kids this ... by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed at getting kids excited about ... ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is all about having fun and ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of the United States and ... of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his wife, Millie, have six ... years in the Navy. Following his career as a naval aviator and carrier ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ... products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the shoulder pad. ... so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold therapy. By ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... -- West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST), ... administration, today announced that it will release third-quarter 2017 ... 26, 2017, and will follow with a conference call ... a.m. Eastern Time. To participate on the call, please ... is 94093362. A ...
(Date:10/11/2017)...  Caris Life Sciences ® , a leading innovator ... precision medicine, today announced that St. Jude Medical Center,s ... (POA) as its 17 th member. Through participation ... Cancer Institute will help develop standards of care and ... making cancer treatment more precise and effective. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today provided an update ... Puerto Rico , where the company manufactures ... Following a comprehensive onsite assessment, the ... temporary loss of power and minimal water damage due ... have resumed, and the company expects to return to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: