Marie Theresa Davis
Maps of the lymphatic system: old (left) and updated to reflect the new discovery.University of Virginia Health System.
Fluids move throughout the body via several paths. The cardiovascular system circulates blood, nutrients, and gases throughout the body. The lymphatic system carries white blood cells and other immune cells through a network of vessels and tissues, including lymph nodes. The lymphatic system also serves as a connection between tissues and the bloodstream, performing several functions such as removing dead blood cells and other waste.
The brain, part of the central nervous system, has blood vessels but has been thought to lack lymphatic vessels, as theyve never been found. Researchers recently discovered a series of channels that surround blood vessels within the brains of mice. This system, managed by the brains glial cells, was termed the glymphatic system. It moves cerebrospinal fluid, a clear liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, quickly and deeply thoughout the brain, removing waste.
To better understand the connections between the lymphatic system and the brain, a team led by Drs. Antoine Louveau and Jonathan Kipnis of the University of Virginia School of Medicine used high-powered microscopes to examine the brains of mice. Their research was funded in part by NIH’s National Institute on Aging (NIA) and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Findings appeared online on June 1, 2015, in Nature.
The scientists examined layers of tissue, known as meninges, that cover the brain and contain blood vessels and cerebrospinal fluid. While searching for structures associated with the meninges, the researchers noticed vessel-like patterns. These vessels contained markers of the lymphatic system. By injecting dye into anesthetized mice and tracking its path, they found that the vessels carried fluid and immune cells from the cerebrospinal fluid, along veins in the sinuses, and into nearby deep cervical lymph nodes. The researchers surmise that these vessels may serve as a second step in the drainage of fluid from the brain, after it’s drained into the cerebrospinal fluid through the glymphatic system.
These vessels may have gone undiscovered until now due to their hidden location. The method the team used to prepare the meninges kept these layers intact. The researchers found similar structures in autopsy specimens of human meninges. Organization of the vessels in the human central nervous system will now need to be determined.
The discovery of a pathway for immune cells to exit the central nervous system raises the question of whether disruption of this route may be involved in neurological disorders that are associated with immune system dysfunction, such as multiple sclerosis, meningitis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
“We think these vessels may play a role in pathogenesis of neurological conditions that have an immune component,” Kipnis says.—by Carol Torgan, Ph.D.
An artery in the brain of a mouse. The green shows cerebrospinal fluid in a channel along the outside of the artery.University of Rochester Medical Center
Scientists have discovered a system that drains waste products from the brain. The finding may reveal new ways to treat neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
Our bodies remove dead blood cells and other waste through a network of vessels called the lymphatic system. The brain, however, has a different method of keeping clean. Cerebrospinal fluid cleanses brain tissue. But how the fluid moves through the brain and clears waste wasn't well understood. Until now, scientists could only study brain tissue in animals that were already dead. They thought nutrients and waste were transported through the slow process of diffusion.
In a new study, a research team led by Drs. Jeffrey Iliff and Maiken Nedergaard at the University of Rochester Medical Center used a method called 2-photon laser scanning microscopy to analyze the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in living mouse brains. This new technology allowed the scientists to study the intact brain in real time. They injected tracer molecules into the subarachnoid space, a cerebrospinal fluid-filled cavity between the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Their work, funded in part by NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), appeared in the August 15, 2012, issue of Science Translational Medicine.
To their surprise, the scientists found that the tracer molecules flowed along a series of channels surrounding blood vessels. In the brain, blood vessels are surrounded by cells called astrocytes. These cells have projections called end feet that wrap around arteries and veins like a layer of piping. It was through this pipeline that the molecules traveled. The system uses pressure to push fluid through the brain. It's a much faster and more efficient way to carry away waste than diffusion.
Astrocytes are a type of glial cell—a class of cells that support neurons in the nervous system. The research team named this new system the “glymphatic system” because it is similar to the body's lymphatic system and is managed by the brain’s glial cells.
The scientists speculated that disruptions in the glymphatic system might lead to the buildup of harmful waste in the brain. In patients with Alzheimer's disease, a protein called amyloid beta accumulates in the brain and damages cells. The researchers injected amyloid beta into the brains of both healthy mice and mice genetically altered to disable theirglymphatic system. Normal mice cleared the protein rapidly from brain tissue. Mice with faulty glymphatic systems had much slower protein removal.
“Increasing the activity of the glymphatic system might help prevent amyloid deposition from building up,” says Iliff, “or could offer a new way to clean out buildups of the material in established Alzheimer's disease.”
“This work shows that the brain is cleansing itself in a more organized way and on a much larger scale than has been realized previously,” Nedergaard says. “We're hopeful that these findings have implications for many conditions that involve the brain, such as traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, stroke and Parkinson's disease.”
—by Meghan Mott, Ph.D.
Swelling, hardness or lumpiness
The instrument that sucks out the fat during liposuction can also injures or destroys the lymphatic vessels within the targeted fatty tissue. Without lymphatic vessels to drain away excessive lymph fluid and blood, the surgical site appears to be swelling, hardness and bruises.
During your MLD treatment, your Certified Lymphedema Therapist will utilize advanced techniques to active your healthy lymph notes and lymph vessels. This will create a “ suction effect”, which allow accumulated fluid to move from one area into another area with normal lymphatic drainage. The goal of Manual Lymphatic Drainage is to reroute the stagnating fluid around blocked areas into healthy lymph vessels, which drains the lymph fluid into the venous system.
Bruises are accumulation of waste products and dead blood cells in the tissue. Manual Lymphatic Drainage can remove the dead cells and clear up the bruise in short period of time.
A research shows that MLD shortens the recovery time of plastic surgery significantly. A “6 weeks to 3 Months” recovery instead of “9 months to 18” months recovery!
Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapy:An Integral Component of Postoperative Care in Plastic Surgery Patients. By Laurie A. Casas, MD FACS; Patricia DePoli, MD
“We see complete resolution of post-operative edema and fibrosis in this group between 9 months to 18 months following surgery.
In the ten groups listed above who underwent MLD and Deep Tissue Massage, post-operative swelling and fibrosis resolved within 6 weeks to 3 months, thereby shortening their recovery significantly. “
Another great benefit of MLD is Pain Relieve. The soothing manual drainage technique provides a stimulus for the “gate-control theory” of Melzack and Wall. Stimulation of the lymphatic system activates the para-sympathetic nervous system to produce an automatic physiological relaxation response. Many clients fall asleep during treatment. With less pain, you will be able to have a better night of sleep!
How many treatments will I need?
Prior to surgery, at least 1-2 MLD is recommended. It drains toxins, excesses fluids, and facilitates the immune system. During surgery, well-decongested tissues also help surgeons to see better and therefore help surgeons to make a clean cut and incision. MLD prepared the body for the surgery and advanced the healing process.
MLD can be performed as soon as 24 hours after the surgery to decrease edema, relieve numbness, remove bruising, reduce scarring, increase nutritional supply to the surgical site, and speed up the process of healing.
There are many things that can influence healing. Some clients get 1-6 treatments post surgery and that is enough, especially if the only area of liposuction was the legs, knees, or flanks. Clients who gets liposuction to the abdomen often require up to 12 treatments.
The first week post-op it is suggested to receive daily treatment or every other day. The second week, every other day, and reduce in treatment frequency after that.
It is advice to receive MLD right after the surgery to initiate the healing process as soon as possible. But you can still benefit from MLD treatment even you are weeks or several months post your procedure, if you are still feeling hardness, swelling, or lumpiness.
In additional to MLD massage, we also provide Kinesio taping to last the effect of decongestion 24/7.
Call today to book your MLD treatment, shorten your recovery time in more than half time. So you can get the look that you wanted in no time!
After liposuction or Samrt-lipo, you might find yourself in a lot of pain, having persistent swelling, and tender bruises. You might also notice a hardness or lumpiness to the areas treated with liposuction. All of these might lead to sleepless nights and prevent you from return to your normal day-to-day activities as soon as possible.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (or MLD massage) can provide relieve for all the sufferings listed above!
Dementia – Pilot Study show decreased Alzheimer symptoms with CST Technique
This was a pilot study that was published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing (Vol. 34, No. 3, 2008). It followed 9 older adults with dementia over the course of 12 weeks who received a simple Craniosacral technique. Results showed a statistically significant reduction in agitation, including aggressive behavior, both physically and verbally. Find the abstract on PubMed, full article here.
An estimated 4.5 milion Americans have dementia. This is characterized by a progressive cognitive impairment with symptoms of agitation in 70-90% of individuals in the advanced stages. In this study, each participant received daily treatment (average of 5 minutes a day) for six weeks. The symptoms were tracked 3 weeks prior to treatment, during the six weeks of treatment and for the following three weeks following this. Observations by the facility staff and families included decreased degrees of agitation, decreased verbal aggression and increased civility, more cooperativeness during caregiving, increased receptivity to requests and increase of communication.
The treatment offered is a technique offered in Craniosacral therapy. Easy and non intrusive to administer, it involves assessing what is called the CSR or the CSI, one of the deep rhythms of the body that supposedly corresponds with the fluctuations of the cerebrospinal fluid irrigating the brain and spinal cord. The technique involves gently coaxing the body into a still point, which allows the nervous system to do a kind of reboot or reorganization, helping to calm and reset the nervous system. The coaxing happens by following the movement of the rhythm as it moves inwards. Following the slight pause, set a strong intension to hault the new expansion movement. The system will attempt to expand out, it will flucutuate somewhat before coming to a stop. This is the stillpoint that can last from anywhere from a couple minutes to 30 minutes. I have been told that a healthy person will spontaneously drop into these still points a few times a day. When overly agitated, the body can lose its ability to spontaneously drop into a still point, depriving it of it’s usual recalibration, potentially contributing to a state of dysfunction.
The working theory by some is that this technique helps heavy metals move across the blood brain barrier, and this resourcing of the body is part of what helps decrease dementia symptoms in the above study. Regardless of the exact mechanism, the studies findings are encouraging, especially for treatment of such little duration per day.
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