Nature 560, 185–191 (2018).

The mechanisms that lead to aging and age-related disease are largely unknown. Recently, lymphatic vessels have been rediscovered in the meninges of the brain, forcing a rethinking of how waste is disposed from the central nervous system.

Researchers in the United States show in mice that meningeal lymphatics have a role in homeostasis of the brain by draining it of macromolecules, such as amyloid beta peptides. Furthermore, they find that impairment of meningeal lymphatics during aging results in decreased cognitive function in mice. Also, using mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, they discover that impaired meningeal lymphatics contribute to aggravation of this disease.

The study suggests that increasing meningeal lymphatic function is a promising target in prevention of age-associated neurological disease.