Newly Discovered Brain Tubes Could Bring Alzheimer's Breakthroughs

The lymphatic system is bigger than we'd realized.


With an aging boomer population and Alzheimer’s rates expected to triple by 2050, we’re in a very real race to find a better way to treat neurological diseases. Now scientists have found a missing link between your brain and your immune system, with great potential for Alzheimer’s treatments. This is fantastic news for you and your brain.

The connecting vessels were found by researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, upending previous thinking that unlike other organs the brain wasn't connected to the lymphatic system, which circulates lymph to process toxins. (Go Cavaliers.) "We think it’s highly significant because it’s going to change how we look at neurological diseases,” researcher Antoine Louveau told Yahoo.

There's already speculation that the lymph system could be directly connected to Alzheimer's. An increase of protein in the brain characteristic of the disease could be a result of the vessels failing to flush it from brain tissue. "They'll have to change the textbooks," said Kevin Lee, who chairs UVA's Department of Neuroscience.

Your move, Virginia Tech.