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To Help The Body Fight Chronic Disease, Scientists Learn To Decode Brain Signals

Brain

Source: Futurism

Even when you’re asleep, your brain is on. It’s constantly communicating with every part of your body, sending electrical impulses and specific chemicals throughout your muscles and organs to keep everything running smoothly. We know some of the basics of how this works, but to be honest, most of it is still pretty mysterious.

Now researchers have taken a big step towards understanding the “language” of the brain — they identified how two types of compounds called cytokines interact with the nervous system, according to a study published Monday in the journal PNAS.

Cytokines are critical to our immune systems — they are the signals that the body when to attack a potential threat, and when to back off. These two cytokines in particular, IL-1β and TNF, specifically tell the brain to trigger inflammation. The researchers experimented on the vagus nerves of mice, which connect their brains to many of their bodies’ vital organs including the heart, lungs, and gastrointestinal tracts. They hope that down the road, findings like these can help hijack the brain’s natural tools to treat chronic disease.

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