A type of immune cell has been found to demolish idle circuits and connections within the brain.
Scientists studying the process in an effort to learn more about degenerative brain diseases have found that brain connections that aren't used are at risk of being demolished by the immune cells even if they are healthy. Up until now the microglia cells were thought to only protect the brain from damage and disease.
"The idea they can clean up brain debris has been well established in studies of brain disease," said Beth Stevens. "But now, even without damage, we've found them to respond to subtle changes in synaptic function."
"Use it or lose it: a class of immune cell demolishes idle circuits and connections in the brain, even a healthy one."
View: Full article
Source: New Scientist
Discuss: View comments (7)