A very good article was recently published in Neuroscience News that will have wide-reaching implications for how mainstream medicine will look at neurological disease. Researchers have found the presence of lymphatic vessels in the brain which will now have to be included in textbooks, as they have never before thought to exist. The lymphatic vessels are largely responsible for transporting immune cells and inflammatory factors to-and-from cells and tissues in the body. It was always believed that the brain was separate from the lymphatic system, but now we have evidence that the immune system have an integral role to play in neurological dysfunction.
It reinforces theories around inflammation, oxidative stress and neurological diseases such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and many others. Also more proof how the gut and the food you eat can influence your brain function. Gut dysbiosis (organisms that are overgrowing in the digestive system that shouldn’t be) may cause the gut barrier to become permeable. This allows proteins from food to enter the bloodstream which sets of a cascade of inflammatory factors resulting in food reactions. But more importantly these inflammatory cytokines can travel through the lymphatics to the brain, and if the body’s detoxification mechanisms are not working properly to clear these away, long term consequences could be increased oxidative stress in the brain.
It is becoming more clear why conditions such as Autism may respond well to a gluten-free dairy-free diet, or why these kids often improve when they are on antibiotics. Reducing or eliminating triggers of inflammation will go a long way in reducing oxidative stress in the body, and now it has been proven in the brain as well.