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The lymphatic network is an important part of our body’s defense system. It is made up of an enormous web of vessels and nodes which help to protect us from infection and disease.
This network transports a colourless fluid (called lymph), which serves two primary functions: 1.) it contains infection-fighting white blood cells that help in immune responses, and 2.) it functions as a ‘drainage system’ – allowing excess fluid from organs to be extracted and shifted to the blood system for excretion.
Recently, researchers reported something interesting about the lymphatic system in people with Parkinson’s: the rate of flow around the brain is slower.
In today’s post, we will discuss what the lymphatic system is, review what the new research found, and look at how this new information could potentially be used to help treat conditions like Parkinson’s.
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So picture this if you will:
The weather reporter would later say that it was “a month of rain in the matter of an hour“, but in the midst of the summertime mêlée I was standing bare foot, ankle deep in my rapidly flooding courtyard, trying to clear the blocked storm drain with a long metal pole.
My tee-shirt and shorts were soaked, and… oh yeah, there was lots of thunder and (more importantly) lightning.
Now, I am a rather tall individual (6’8 ~ 2m 7cm on my good days), and looking back now I can appreciate that standing ankle deep in water holding a long metal pole high in the air (to gather enough downward force to unplug the drain) in the middle of a lightning storm was probably not one of my best moments.
Luckily, my neighbour – a plumber and 3-4 fold smarter than me – kindly decided to take pity on his slow-witted nearby resident. He leapt into the situation and resolved it all in the blink of an eye.
Since that moment I have religiously maintained a clear storm drain, and taken to deriving great pleasure in keeping other drainage systems about the house clear and flowing free.
I’m happy for you, but what does this have to do with Parkinson’s?
Well, very recently researchers have reported that a different kind of drainage issue might be at play in many cases of Parkinson’s.
What on Earth do you mean?!?