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Alzheimer’s disease: A consequence of bad waste managment in aging brain?

The brain is the organ with the highest energy consumption and cellular activity. Consequently, many waste products are produced and need to be removed from the brain and properly disposed of. This disposal heavily relies on the newly discovered lymphatic system in the brain

In a new study published in Nature, bad waste management, or the dysfunction of the lymphatic system, is associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.

In a laboratory study, the authors describe how blocking of the lymphatic drainage severely promoted factors that can lead to Alzheimer’s Disease or worsen its symptoms. In contrast, improving the waste management through more efficient lymphatic drainage lessened the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

Aging is a part of life but is also associated with functional decline. Age-related changes to the lymphatic system might cause insufficient lymphatic drainage.  As this study reveals, this dysfunction can promote neurological disease in the aging population.

Novel methods that improve waste disposal from the brain might offer new therapeutic methods, either as a stand-alone or in combination with existing therapeutics,  against Alzheimer’s Disease.

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