Cleansing the Brain

The Glymphatic System has recently been discovered by neuroscientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The findings were published online in Science Translational Medicine. This new system has been dubbed “the glymphatic system” since it acts much like the lymphatic system but is managed by brain cells known as glial cells.

“Understanding how the brain copes with its own waste is of great importance, because in essentially all neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, protein waste accumulates and eventually suffocates and kills the neuronal network of the brain,” said Jeffrey Iliff, Ph.D., first author of this paper.

“If the glymphatic system fails to cleanse the brain as it is meant to, either as a consequence of normal aging, or in response to brain injury, waste may begin to accumulate in the brain, as seen with amyloid deposits in Alzheimer’s disease,” said Iliff. “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,” he added.

Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., senior author of the paper said, “this work shows that the brain is cleansing itself on a much larger scale than has been realized previously.”

This system that helps drain waste products from the brain, just as the lymphatic system does throughout the rest of the body. This system is not new, despite only recently being discovered by main stream medicine. In fact, Osteopathic physicians have been working with this system for over a century.

This is a clip from the video “The Role of the Glymphatic System in Cleansing the Brain” by Jeffrey Iliff, Ph.D. It illustrates the cleansing action of the glympathic system. Optimizing arterial flow and venous drainage (illustrated by the left to right flow in this video) is a key component of Osteopathic treatment.


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Follow this link to watch Dr. Iliff discussing The Role of the Glymphatic System in Cleansing the Brain