Brain Waste Removal System May Lead to Better Alzheimer's Disease Treatments
June 28, 2013 9:46 AM
comment(s) - last by
A problem with the glymphatic system could mean that amyloid is not being removed correctly
The brain has a waste removal process that could one day be used to better treat problems like
Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) -- led by Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., co-director of the URMC Center for Translational Neuromedicine -- detailed a recently discovered waste removal system in the brain, and believes it could hold the key to understanding and treating diseases like Alzheimer's.
It's been long understood that the lymphatic system, which is a circulatory network of vessels and organs, is responsible for waste removal throughout the body. However, it doesn't perform this task in the brain. Last August, URMC researchers discovered the glymphatic system, which filled in the missing piece as the brain's own "garbage truck."
The glymphatic system works like this: the brain is surrounded by the arachnoid membrane, which is covered in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). CSF uses pathways that lead into the brain with the support of glia cells. These are the same pathways that arteries use to carry blood, creating a parallel system where CSF is carried through on an outer ring and blood is carried through the inner ring.
CSF is rushed through the brain quickly, carrying waste such as excess proteins along with it as it sweeps through. This waste is then sent off into a similar system that parallels veins, and it travels down the spine until it is transferred to the lymphatic system. From there, it goes to the liver and is broken down.
Researchers didn't discover this system until just last year because it cannot be seen in brain tissue samples. Instead, the team had to use imaging technology called two-photon microscopy. This allowed scientists to look within
the brains of mice
, thus discovering the glymphatic system.
This study could help researchers find new ways to treat disorders like Alzheimer's disease because the disease is marked by the accumulation of the protein beta amyloid in the brain. A problem with the glymphatic system could mean that amyloid is not being removed correctly.
This study was published in
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
6/28/2013 10:22:30 AM
Really awesome discovery. Hopefully it'll lead to treatments eventually for this stuff, and even more fundamental understandings of how our brains/bodies work. Very cool!
"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation
Mice Receive Human Embryonic Stem Cells to Treat Damaged Brain
April 22, 2013, 5:22 PM
Cancer Drug Cures "Human" Alzheimer's in Fruit Flies and Rats
September 25, 2012, 3:23 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
As iPad Sales Wane and Watch Flops, iPhone Saves Apple's Profit With Its Heroics
July 22, 2015, 6:13 PM
Editorial: Reddit Allows Itself to be Hijacked as a Hate Platform For Racist Bigots
July 21, 2015, 6:32 PM
Microsoft July 29 Windows 10 Launch: Freebies, Rollout, and What's Next
July 21, 2015, 2:40 PM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Mozilla and Facebook to Adobe: It's Time to Kill Flash
July 20, 2015, 6:30 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information