The glymphatic system of the brain was described and named in 2013 by Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, a Danish neuroscientist. The glymphatic system is a "macroscopic waste clearance system that utilizes a unique system of perivascular channels, formed by astroglial cells, to promote efficient elimination of soluble proteins and metabolites from the central nervous system.”
A 2021 study described how the glymphatic merges with the lymphatic system of the body:
The glymphatic system enables bulk movement of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) from the subarachnoid space along periarterial spaces, where it mixes with interstitial fluid (ISF) within the parenchyma before ultimately exiting from the parenchyma via perivenous spaces and drains into the peripheral lymphatic system ...
Besides waste elimination, “the glymphatic system may also function to help distribute non-waste compounds, such as glucose, lipids, amino acids, and neurotransmitters related to volume transmission, in the brain."
The discovery of the glymphatic system – the name merging ‘glial’ and ‘lymphatic’ – surprised researchers and overturned decades of textbook teaching. A senior researcher at the U. of Virginia was quoted in 2016:
The brain and the adaptive immune system were thought to be isolated from each other, and any immune activity in the brain was perceived as sign of a pathology. And now, not only are we showing that they are closely interacting, but some of our behavior traits might have evolved because of our immune response to pathogens…
A highly significant feature of the glymphatic system, researchers stress, is the fact that “it functions mainly during sleep and is largely disengaged during wakefulness”:
The biological need for sleep across all species may therefore reflect that the brain must enter a state of activity that enables elimination of potentially neurotoxic waste products, including β-amyloid.
Glymphatic / Lymphatic Systems
Sleep is essential to healing and restoring the body and mind. Sleep and wakefulness have been defined as ‘recurring, behaviour states that reflect coordinated changes in the dynamic functional organization of the brain and that optimize physiology, behaviour, and health.”
“Sleep health” is not just the absence of a disorder or deficit, researchers suggest. Rather, promoting sleep health and education about sleep may help prevent imbalance, as with every other aspect of health. The importance of sleep health is highlighted by new research on the glymphatic system of the brain and CNS. Studies show that this system functions mainly during sleep and is largely disengaged during wakefulness. ...
Mitigating our daily exposures to industrial chemicals – from carpet off gas to herbicides in food or tap water and much more – relies on our defences: knowledge (learning, avoiding, choosing non-toxic products, filtration) awareness (political system, lobby efforts), our five senses, our natural abilities to detoxify and eliminate especially through the liver, kidneys, lungs, digestive system and skin.
News of the train derailment in Ohio on Feb. 3, 2023, has again highlighted concerns regarding industrial chemicals. In response, the EPA has issued regular reports from air, water and soil samplings for the area. On Feb. 23, they reported air measurements for certain chemicals and identified elevated levels for acrolein, benzene, vinyl chloride, o-xylene, naphthalene and more.
The symptoms of Parkinson's Disease (PD) are caused by the impairment or loss of neurons in the substantia nigra and/or the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. These neurons produce the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter dopamine. However, this signalling molecule within the brain also plays a central role in our ability to move.
Swedish pharmacologist and neuroscientist Arvid Carlsson discovered in 1957 that dopamine was concentrated in the basal ganglia, the portion of the brain that controls movement.