Discovery of a lymphatic system in the brain helps explain how neuro-acupuncture works

3D rendering of human dural lymphatics (curtesy of

The latest discovery and location of a lymphatic system in the brain may explain how neuro-acupuncture works in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The lymphatic system of the body circulates and filters the fluid that bathes body cells to remove toxins and fight infection. Brain cells, just like body cells, produce waste products as a result of metabolic functioning but until most recently no brain lymphatic system had been found . In October 2017 researchers at the U.S. National Institute Neurological Disorder and Stroke published their discovery of a system of lymphatic vessels that is embedded in the dura mata, the leathery membrane that covers the brain (see linked report). Daniel Reich, the senior researcher of the group, is an expert in inflammatory brain disease, specifically multiple sclerosis (MS). He suggests that an important element in MS as well as other neurodegenerative diseases may be a failure in the brain lymphatic system. If so, maintaining healthy functioning of the brain lymphatic system may help prevent and treat these diseases.

The dura mater that contains the brain lymphatic vessels lies right next to the boney skull. In neuro-acupuncture, pins are inserted in the scalp to stimulate the underlying brain cells. But even before stimulation reaches the neurons it has to pass through the dura mata and in doing so activate the brain lymphatic system there. This is probably one important way neuro-acupuncture creates its effects: promoting immunity and waste-removal functions in the brain.