Is the human body truly as we know it?

This week on Talk Back Thursday we look into a scientific breakthrough that can possibly change our lives…

A couple of months ago, I read a book called ‘Still Alice’ and ever since then, I haven’t stopped reading about Alzheimer’s. It is a beautiful piece of literature which tells the story of Alice Howland, a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard who suffers from early on-set Alzheimer’s. I highly recommend reading this book as it paints a picture of how harrowing the mind of a patient suffering from a neurological illness is and how the disorder makes the patient ultimately crippled.

There is a lot of research currently happening on neurodegenerative diseases and I stumbled upon a research article that may change our understanding of human anatomy as we know it. In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist.  “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 Centre 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.”

It is an amazing article which states how the discovery was made by developing a method to mount a mouse’s meninges on a single slide so that they could be examined as a whole. The scientists believe that for every neurological disease that has an immune component to it, these vessels may play a major role. This unexpected presence of lymphatic vessels could explain both- the workings of the brain, and the diseases that plague it. And there is a huge possibility that our textbooks may get a major change!


I highly recommend reading this article as I’m sure it will resonate with anyone who knows someone suffering from a neurological illness. These discoveries can open doors to further research that will find a cure to these diseases.

So guys, isn’t the human body full of surprises? Just when we thought we had mapped everything, there is a new curveball. What do you guys think about this discovery? Will it change how the human anatomy is perceived? Do let me know in the comments. Also leave us suggestions to let us know what we should discuss in the Next Talk Back Thursday.

The link to the article on

Reference and Draft: Shruti Joshi.


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