Medicine Will Never Be the Same

Researchers at the University of Virginia find link between brain and immune system

Recently, researchers at the University of Virginia have made a discovery that will change medicine forever.  They have discovered vessels that link your brain and immune system that were previously thought not to exist.  What are these vessels you ask?… Lymph vessels. The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins. The main function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph throughout the body. Lymph is a fluid that contains infection-fighting white blood cells. So why is this a big deal? Well, there are a couple reasons. As a chiropractor, I have noticed that the immune system function of my patients has improved with chiropractic adjustments to the cervical spine, an area very close to the brain stem. Also, there is a group of neurological disorders and diseases called immune-mediated diseases.  These are diseases where your own immune system attacks the central nervous system, causing damage.  These diseases include psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and multiple sclerosis.  Finding this link between the immune system and the brain solves a lot of unanswered questions as well as poses many new ones.  It will change the way we treat a range of neurological diseases from Alzheimer’s to autism.  In Alzheimer’s disease for instance, there are accumulations of protein chunks in the brain. Researchers theorize that they may be accumulating in the brain because they’re not being efficiently removed by these vessels.  And there is a large array of other neurological diseases, autism being one of them, that must be reconsidered in the light of this new discovery.

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How does this relate to chiropractic? Can my chiropractor help with immune system function?

As a chiropractor, this subject is also very interesting to me. For years chiropractors have talked with their patients about the immune system benefits of neck adjustments. It was never 100% understood but patients suffering from cold and flu like symptoms recovered faster while under chiropractic care. This was first observed during the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918. Out of every 10,000 people 950 of them died under conventional medical treatments. Under chiropractic care however, only 25 out of 10,000 died. The same trend was also seen for pneumonia during the same time period. Although it wasn’t completely understood, drugless methods and chiropractic were seemingly having great immune boosting effects when compared to conventional treatments at the time. This new discovery may shed some light on the specifics of why chiropractic has this effect on ones immunity.

Also, I personally am very interested in what this discovery will mean for finding the cause of autism.  If you haven’t already check out our blog on Autism, now may be a good time.  Vaccinations have come under fire as being a potential cause for the rise in autism we’ve seen in the last 30 years.  The amount of required childhood vaccinations has risen 3 to 4 times what it was in the 70’s and 80’s and the cases of autism has risen dramatically from 1 in 2000 to 1 in 50.  This is merely a correlation, but there are many other factors that seemingly point to vaccines that make them suspicious.  What is interesting is how this will change the argument, knowing that the vaccines that directly influence your immune system are now known to have a direct link to the brain. This is an exciting time in medical research.

For more information, watch the video the University of Virginia published about their research.

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