The human brain is a complex organ. As a result, scientists still have much to learn regarding the intricate processes at work. Researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke recently published a study on the existence of lymphatic vessels in human and nonhuman primates. The study includes images indicating a system of vessels that form part of the lymphatic system in the brain.
“If the human brain were so simple that we could understand it, we would be so simple that we couldn’t.” – Emerson M Pugh
It is remarkable that after decades of dissection, no one knew that the vessels even existed.
These findings contradict decades of medical education. Most doctors have been taught that the skull contains no lymphatic vessels. The assumption was that waste around cells goes into cerebrospinal fluid and from there gets absorbed into the blood through structures called arachnoid granulations. This is the first time that a direct connection has been reported between the brain and immune system.
Senior Investigator Daniel Reich stated that: “The discovery of the central-nervous-system lymphatic system may call for a reassessment of basic assumptions in neuroimmunology.” Essentially, this remarkable discovery could lead to further exploration of our own biology, which in turn, could lead to even greater discoveries.
It is believed that the lymph vessels escaped detection because they are found inside a thick matter (dura matter). Due to the fact that the vessels run alongside larger blood vessels, the MRI was probably dominated by the blood vessels, causing the lymph vessels to go undetected. It still remains a mystery as to how the lymph fluid gets into these vessels and this only shows how far we are from fully understanding the basic day-to-day functioning of the nervous system. “The study shows that these vessels exist. We haven’t shown that they’re involved in any disease process,” Reich said. “But it’s reasonable to think that they might be.”
This new discovery is fascinating and suggests that we still have so much to learn about our biology. The findings have now led to a series of new questions about the human condition that scientists never saw coming.
IMAGE CREDIT: fergregory / 123RF Stock Photo
I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here