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  • January 11, 2016

    Immune System Cells Key to Maintaining Blood-Brain Barrier

    New research shows that the cells responsible for protecting the brain from infection and inflammation are also responsible for repairing the system of defenses that separates the brain from the rest of the body. These findings have significant clinical implications because certain cardiovascular drugs could possibly impede the brain's ability to repair itself after a stroke or other injury.

    This study shows that the resident immune cells of the central nervous system play a critical and previously unappreciated role in maintaining the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, said Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and lead author of the study. When this barrier is breached it must be rapidly repaired in order to maintain the health of the brain and aid in recovery after an injury – a process that could be impaired by drugs that are intended to prevent this damage in the first place.

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