Neurological diseases continue to be studied, but for as much as we have learned about them, there is also much that we still don’t know.

Recently, however, researchers made a new finding that may not only change textbooks, but will change the way that we understand the link between the brain and the immune system.

Researchers from 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.  These findings may lead to ground breaking new discoveries in neurological conditions, such as Alzheimers Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and many other neurological diseases.

Never known previously, the researchers have found a lymphatic system for the central nervous system (CNS).  As an example, it is know that Alzheimers Disease is caused by large chunks of proteins that build up in the brain.  This lymphatic system of the CNS may be inefficient in those patients who develop this disease and so more research needs to focus on this.

“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.”

These finings will be published in the prestigious journal, “Nature”.

 

For more information:  NeuroscienceNews

Improve your posture and you could improve your mood. Studies show sitting up with your spine straight and shoulders back can make you feel happier and more confident. Psychologists say this simple physical change lowers stress hormones and increases happiness hormones, which can cue the brain to switch to a more positive and poised state of mind.

Life is ironic. A brilliant man, who dedicated his life to improving the health of humans, was claimed by Alzheimers in the prime of his career.
Larry Whitesell grew up in Pennsylvania and attended Delaware College with a degree in animal husbandry. He married, Donna Keckler. Together, these opposites completed each other in a very complementary way. They had two daughters and now have two beautiful granddaughters. Larry Whitesell & Donna May 14 2015

In 1983, Larry uprooted his family and moved from Hershey Pennsylvania where he dedicated 15 years of his life doing cardiology research at the Hershey Medical Center in Pennsylvania. As a leader in his field, he was noticed by the University of Wisconsin’s head of cardiology and was offered a ground breaking position at UW Wisconsin where he started a program in Cardiology Research.

As Larry was blazing a trail utilizing gene therapy in cardiac research, he noticed some memory issues. In 2010, he retired early and was diagnosed with the early onset of Alzheimer’s. When Larry reached the stage where his family was unable to care for him, he came to Maplewood of Sauk Prairie to receive skilled care and physical therapy.

Maplewood has adopted the “Music in Memory” program where people with dementia and Alzheimer’s listen to favorite songs from the early adult years. This program has been known to provide joy and bring a person back to themselves while the music is being played. Those listening to music have experienced calming behaviors and may have the ability to respond in the present for a while after a listening session. Larry is one of the success stories associated with “Music in Memory”. As a result, he is experiencing more connections to his surrounding, making more eye and verbal contact.

Larry made a difference in many people’s life by doing cutting edge research. He has plans to continue contributing to society after he passes. He will be donating his brain for research in the hopes that scientists can pinpoint the gene that causes Alzheimer’s and a cure will be found.Larry Whitesell & Donna smiles 05-14-2015

As people grow older, they find that they are not quite as agile, flexible or strong as they used to be. However, to maintain their health, seniors still need to keep an active lifestyle. They can’t do that if their body’s functionality is impaired. Physical therapy in Waunakee, WI and nearby areas helps seniors regain or improve their balance, strength and flexibility so they can continue living healthy, independent lives. Here’s how physical therapists can help elderly loved ones overcome the challenges of aging.

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Celebrate Earth Day
Since 1970, the world has celebrated April 22 as Earth Day, a time to bring environmental awareness and protection into the spotlight. Many communities honor the day with rallies or festivals where seniors set the stage. If you are looking to contribute, there are plenty of ways to get involved and leave the planet a little better than you found it.
Here are a few:
Take an intergenerational nature walk. Go for a nature walk with your grandchildren or other youngsters and share your favorite parts of nature. Bring along a trash bag and pick up any litter you see along the way.
Plant a legend. Arbor Day takes place this month, too. Honor both days by planting a tree with friends and family. This act will leave a legend of beauty for generations to come.
Paint the community green. Work with your neighbors and community managers to ensure that your home is operating a green as possible. Brainstorm together for ideas to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Lead a letter writing charge. Contact your local or state governments about ways to protect or improve the environment where you live. Encourage others to do the same.