Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Got MS? Part 6: Change the textbooks!

In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist.

 That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer's disease to multiple sclerosis.

Maps of the lymphatic system: old (left) and updated to reflect UVA's discovery.
Credit: University of Virginia Health System

"Instead of asking, 'How do we study the immune response of the brain?' 'Why do multiple sclerosis patients have the immune attacks?' now we can approach this mechanistically. Because the brain is like every other tissue connected to the peripheral immune system through meningeal lymphatic vessels," said Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, professor in the UVA Department of Neuroscience and director of UVA's Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG). "It changes entirely the way we perceive the neuro-immune interaction. We always perceived it before as something esoteric that can't be studied. But now we can ask mechanistic questions."
"We believe that for every neurological disease that has an immune component to it, these vessels may play a major role," Kipnis said. "Hard to imagine that these vessels would not be involved in a [neurological] disease with an immune component."

 The unexpected presence of the lymphatic vessels raises a tremendous number of questions that now need answers, both about the workings of the brain and the diseases that plague it. For example, take Alzheimer's disease. "In Alzheimer's, there are accumulations of big protein chunks in the brain," Kipnis said. "We think they may be accumulating in the brain because they're not being efficiently removed by these vessels." He noted that the vessels look different with age, so the role they play in aging is another avenue to explore. And there's an enormous array of other neurological diseases, from autism to multiple sclerosis, that must be reconsidered in light of the presence of something science insisted did not exist.

Fulfilling a special June wish, here a song for today :-)


  1. I saw this today and thought, hmmm, that would make a good blog post. Thanks! Can you write a paper on hybridomas and pivotal drug testing for me, too?

  2. Now I find this interesting. An article about a network of vessels connecting the immune system to the brain followed by a video mentioning roses. Is the author trying to draw a connection? Perhaps a parallel between plants and humans? If similarities did exist, would humans be more like the rose and would these vessels be like the roots of the plants? Perhaps humans are more like the dirt that the rose grows in? Nah, maybe roses are just pretty (especially the antique/paleo varieties that are starting to bloom) and these undiscovered vessels are fascinating :-)


    1. I don't get'how they missed those vessels. Surgeons go digging around in there all the time. No one asked "hey, what do you suppose this bit is for?"

      The mind boggles.

      I looked up roses, couldn't find a lymph connection. If there is one, Gemma, I want to hear it!

    2. @WC

      "I don't get'how they missed those vessels"


      "As to how the brain's lymphatic vessels managed to escape notice all this time, Kipnis described them as "very well hidden" and noted that they follow a major blood vessel down into the sinuses, an area difficult to image. "It's so close to the blood vessel, you just miss it," he said. "If you don't know what you're after, you just miss it."

      "Live imaging of these vessels was crucial to demonstrate their function,.."

    3. @WC

      Hey, pretty wild thoughts you two! Is there a connection? :-))))))
      But yes, there are many pararells between plants and animals.

      The rose song was just a rmessage, and a reminder, perhaps to myself?

      A year has passed, it is June again, textbooks are re-written... and Tim is busy with hybriwhats(?)

    4. So many connections. Maybe save that for Part 7?

      I really do enjoy the antique roses. I have found many varieties that produce fragrant blooms all season and are care and disease free. It's easy to get intimidated with rose care, thinking you need to fertilize them the right way and apply the right micronutrients and sprays at the right time. Nope. Combine a good antique variety with adequate soil and you and the pollinators will be rewarded all growing season with flowers. Rose hips to follow. A nice way to celebrate June ... and hybriwhats(?).


    5. @ Gemma

      "If you don't know what you're after, you just miss it." Ain't it the truth? The common expression may be "I'll believe it when I see it" but just as often it should be said "I'll see it when I believe it". How much do we all miss because we just don't believe something can be possible?

      @ Barney

      Agreed on the roses. I'm finding it's true of anything that hasn't been hybridized and coddled into fragility, and it's certainly true of nature, no inputs are necessary there! Most gardeners are control freaks (IMO). I do less and less to my garden all the time, I don't even water, and it thrives. I just don't insist on growing anything not suited to my existing soil and climate.

      Maybe there's a lesson there about human health - if we believe there might be, that is.

    6. Nobel prize winner in bekgium saw the white lines on my tonsils and plenty of other symptoms, but he missed that too. So as i have kearned, dont get too excited to early and get back to where you always come to find optimalness: medium end of the spectrum ;)
      Doesn't surprize me at all that people are getting so suprised at verything these days, in fact i look forward to more of that. Its what everyone needs (especially those not knowing/admitting it)

    7. Ring around the rosies, pocket full of posies, ashes, ashes, we all fall down...

    8. wildcucumber wrote: "I don't get'how they missed those vessels"

      Same way they missed a knee ligament: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/a-surprising-discovery-a-new-knee-ligament/?_r=0

    9. Ha! One really has to laugh. Or cry. How many people do we all know who had knee surgery that didn't do a damn bit of good?

      "Despite the repaired knees’ appearing afterward to be healthy, the joint would sometimes give way as people moved."
      “We thought, something is still not right” in that knee, said Dr. Claes.."

      Ya think?

  3. Katy Bowman approves.

    1. ??? Her: http://www.katysays.com/ ?

    2. @Tim. Yes. That Katy.

      I am assuming she would appreciate the discovery of a new part of the lymphatic system as her work frequently references the role of movement in that system's proper function. I like her work in much the same fashion as I like yours!

      I hope she may have a word to say about this 'discovery.'

      A brisk bike ride after work and then stooping to harvest squash and cucumbers from the garden upon returning home hopefully has my lymph system perking along.

      Now, off for some hibiscus tea and honey!

  4. "that they follow a major blood vessel down into the sinuses"

    Is that a clue to our sinus problems? I also wonder role the sinuses play. Surely there's a reason for following that blood vessel other than camouflage from interested scientists. Lots of possibilities. And more importantly, what's at the other end of that network. The picture in the article does not go down far enough :-)


    1. @Barney

      By sinuses they mean dural sinuses, in the brain.

    2. LOL. Oops. Maybe I'd better limit myself to commenting on roses or at least read the article better.


    3. lol, I thought the same thing! Sinuses, I mean.

  5. Great! So important to know!

    Terri F

  6. Wow how is it that certain (self imposed or not) geniuses take a stroll along the same ' golden gateways' (just lousy term i just came up with). These goldn gateways are essentially always available to us, just the body(by that i mean also the mind as a working entitity/thing) has to be able to see it. The lymphatic system has been creeping up in my head as a link i'm uncovering now (eg i remember thinking i have more swollen nodes all over rright side mouth). Then somehow (i didnt read anything on lymphs etc) on your blog appears another 'geniusthinkalikefeeling', which i think (among other things) makes your blog(or whatever you want to to in the future/biggerpicture) exceptional :)

    Wow maybe the first 2 lines could, with some tweaking, be a good slogan for making people warm/inspired to look into pubmed, google scholar etc.
    Bcause doing that ourselves (and i prefer userfriendly as much as next guy) would be of greater use to everyone. Far greater than that those with good intentions(those just discovering paleo eg) as well as those with (when one thinks about it deeper) no real conscious intention(learning everything from school and environment, just think of everything nutrition alone) who all get brainwashed to some degree. And everyone would be able to read it like a journal, selecting their info they feel they need/want to know more about.. You know, kinda like what i would imagine journals were originally intended for? Just a weird mindwave for you fella's were you to enjoy or in any way feel you have had something usefull with my post, then i can i live with 20mins 'wasted'
    I don't know, or maybe i do, but system of blogging and sharing info (and more 'good' info!), i can almost feel that too will trend in a more positive, productive, usefull, time-efficient, enjoyable way of consuming edutainment/infomedia/whatevertheterm. I realized lately i might perhaps been born in just the right era (and many other blessing i cherish from moment of discovery on)

     And I don't hide to admit I'm also one of those that mostly just stays away from the medical jibberjabber. And i myself can be a big jibberjabber, as you may have noticed by my hippietalk.

    Next to the important stuff i need to do, i have 10 or so items i want to research around. Lymphs i'll get around to it. For example, i've had dopamine alot on my mind lately. maybe another nice idea (that you may or may not have thought before): 'researchlist', with which you can add items you're gonna research, and smoothly so in combination with browser and evernote notetaking etc. Man make that app and make a million already. Such things is that i could only imagine that will be more what future consuming of content (and hopefully more good content) will be like.
     Just better system of consuming content for everyone, not the oftenly overpriced sometimes plain stupid dysfunctional apps/programs. Take a bit subjectively because i own iphone 4 and ipad 2, i didn't have 2000 dollar extra laying around to buy their newest versions. So i couldnt live up to the standard of having to buy newest version. So the system goes sorry profits to be made, you can just s^ck it. Well to hell with the system as it is now!
    These days we're all still taking that crap, but you can feel on some fronts that the world is changing, people want a bit better and more people are realizing we're all just suffering fuckarounditis. Random example, look at affaire blatter fired from fifa, just looking at his face i can sometimes tell already he's just playing kaching sounds in his head, and i can just notice how all more people are coming to realise things like that the world really is corrupt in so many ways (and that realizing fuels the positive tranding or perhaps even revolutions towards what we guys here know can be achieved in human health and happiness? Right?

    Anyway, we'll just see how it all goes, and just give it our best so that we can get the best out of life :) (wow where does that come from?)

  7. And ow yeah, for sure, burn the textbooks and to hope we humans will make use of our human potential in next decades? Fungus stops us from fulfilling potentials, every way or scale imaginable or not imaginable. Sometimes in my head its just plant(and one special one in particular) vs fungus! Wow tim, i feel a bit like you (and other friend at the comments section :)) sometimes lately, ahead of his time!

    Hippiecrzzyman talking here, but i'm pretty sure i can consider myself a little bit excentriq with just a whole lot of unfucking and more common sense in his mind, and that i'm making quite the points here and there.
    And if i don't, a community like this will show guide other people much better in such things than any other, because thats what paleo is. Paleo = living according the laws of commin/nature sense :).
    living in a mindset en enjoying health like paleoman did/do. Tim thats why i noticed from the beginning on in your writing how you're the guy that shows it to the people, you DO this stuff. You radiate radiating vibrancy in the minutes i heard you speaking on podcast. Do more of that good stuff and less the bad, thats what will get you more in touche with how humans really supposed to feel most of the time (or i sometimes look at my younger ilness-less brother).

  8. Not to keep rambling but as for closure of that last paragraph: With this type of cimmunity (common sense people ;)) is it that you will find beter interactions, and coming troughout that resembling what people can achieve and communicate with eachother.
    I don't know the scientist world though, if they communicate ReAL ideas and stuff effectively. But just looking all the quackdokters and healthcare providers ive come in touch with in my life, t'aint gonna be worth much mentioning (if you find brainwashconvention of bla bla in paris worth mentioning then try to find the commen sense in that a bit more if you like)

    Anways, salutes

    1. Add-on previous: Fortunately people who shares this kind of stuff from their heart/passion out can still do so (but not as idehyliczlly as i wrote it, i dont care if that a wordy sorry) trough emailing and such

  9. Theory alert (and relevant): as always, mycotoxins have been drooling out of me latest weeks. But even after all the time i stil learnt more about my body (fungus is wise teacher) and how it appears that where i have more blood i have more mycotoxins scereted by nearby fungus (all over my body yeah lovely). Right there at point between right lung and throat and point where you can whistle (sorry not in mood for coming up with approriate anatomy terms), thats been a sort of epicentre of mycotoxin (and physically fungus?) in my body. And that seems to be axactly where the lymphatic system (and newly discovered as in article) comes into play i guess. One of the 10 things i want to learn about

  10. Hi Tim et al,

    Wondering if you have any thoughts about Jeff Leach's new Human Food Bar:


    I travel a lot for work and have been looking for an easy way to take fiber on the road.


    1. Hi Nate - Of course I have thoughts about it. Gemma will kill me for responding to this great thread with a candy bar discussion. Payback time!

      I was talking with Brad about these the other day:

      Looks cool, probably tastes good. I'd buy one if I saw it at the hippy health food store, but I would not buy a box to keep at home, lol, I'd eat them all in one sitting.

      A waste, really, but better than the average granola bar. What I mean by that:

      Nutrition panel

      INGREDIENTS: Organic Almond Butter, Almonds, Organic Clover Honey, Organic Agave Powder Inulin*, Cherries, Apricots, Organic Raisins, Egg White Protein, Baobab Powder, Sea Salt, Organic Ginger
      CONTAINS: Tree Nuts, Egg
      MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF: Peanuts, Soy, Milk, Wheat (may contain shell, and/or pit fragments).
      *Please note this is NOT Agave syrup but rather Agave Inulin-Type Fructans (a.k.a. prebiotics). Each bar contains 6 grams of prebiotic Agave inulin!

      Total weight is 45g, (1.5oz). 190 calories, 90 from fat, 9g fiber

      Now, look at just almond butter; serving size 2TBS, 32g, 190 cal, 150 from fat. 4g fiber.

      Then I guess you could argue the protein/sugar/carb content as well. pros and cons to both.

      But at $2.25 per bar, this is just an expensive snack. And I don't doubt full of sulfur to preserve all the dried fruit.

      Can't blame Jeff Leach for getting in the candy bar game though. This stuff does make good snacks, but far from health food when you consider just eating some almonds and a fruit (and an inulin gummy bear chaser).

    2. And if you are trying to lose or maintain body fat levels, you will be better off (on average) consuming the 190 calories of almond butter because it will have less adverse effect on body fat liberation (lipolysis). Yes, you will get a broader variety of nutrients from this bar, so it all depends on what is the most important issue/problem for YOU - what is your objective. If it is more about quelling a hunger pang - I think usually the case with snacking - then something with sugar in it, even natural sugars like honey and dried fruit, is prob not the best choice. Personally if I eat a little sugar, it does not quell my hunger, it just make me want more of it.

  11. As much as we humans think we know about ourselves, I think the real truth is we have only just scratched the surface. We used to think of muscle tissue as fairly dumb/inactive outside of it's role in movement, but now we are learning in fact it is a kind-of endocrine organ...

    "Skeletal muscle constitutes approximately 30-40% of our body weight, is our largest organ system by mass, and plays diverse roles in maintaining overall health. Among its many vital functions, skeletal muscle facilitates locomotion, manages whole body metabolism and thermoregulation, and regulates the physiology of other body systems via secretion of paracrine factors called myokines. "

    And so then, what are the things being controlled by the secreted myokines? What are the effects when people don't exercise regularly and so don't secrete as much of this? etc... I think the studies are just starting to come out on this.

  12. Sorry, kinda off topic but hopefully still interesting.

  13. I guess what triggered the thought was the "missing link" discovery thing. We are still discovering "links" between different body systems. And yeah, they often seem to raise as many questions or more than they answer. Each discovery seems to make the overall system look even more complex and hard to figure out.

  14. Also very well said, Brad

    The sinuses thing: those little balls under and upper side mouth and my theory that it seems where more blood there's more fungus/epicenterofbullshit.

    especially when i think of how i can constantly (just woke up 4,5 at night) pull out mycotoxins out of my mouth (by sniffing almost like a handicapped person, i can only imagine lots of handicapped people just plain body screaching to let the mycotoxins out and then you start to make weird faces and such). here 'we not so ignorant' people look (or start to understand thats where its to be looked at) at neurotoxins and blood as the ways that fungus f*cks you up.
    It seems that a persons face (and lungs, and blood, and other organs, .. essentially human body can be broken by fungus, but can also undergo miracelous positive changes). It is (less and less) for sure the case of mine and i suspect thats that 'central sinus'is huge really. Like eddie has mentioned to me while ago about reinfection, drainage, etc. Its one of those things i personally didn't want to think much firther on, but which i now (like mycotoxins in environment for people with already overburdened system) will dig in a big deeper, you know in that quest that missing link or finally having great health. And its also how it happens that people tend to want to jump on a bandwagon(sounds kind of funny to me as foreigner). And how people and tend to concurr with info that can can lie on the spectrum with extreme ends being plain trendy/fad/bs, and the other end being discoveries and/or discussions of "yet again important missing links" by more normal and intelligent(to me that doesn't necessarely mean you have to undestand every paper tim, or gemma, posts here) people.
    Though, seems to me that the 'prebiotic prescription' is a fine an example of revolutionary-y things, you know like one can think of it in pre, during en post periods. I think, and hope (because thats where we need to look at), we're gonna stick in post period. No wait, during and post. Because post would kinda mean its widely accepted. I can't believe i say this, but i'm kind counting the blessings these days to have been born this era (whereas used to i even had thoughts of wanted to have lived in 70's lol).
    Hope to have enriched something in some way to the blog (i feel like saying that because it makes me be aware that i just 'put in all that time and thinking' in something that is hopefully not useless or of annoyance)