General, Research, Technology

The eyes can clean themselves, just like the brain

Sleep is an incredibly interesting state of ourorganism during which we restore strength. The results of recent studies have shown that while we sleep, the brain in the literal sense of the word washes itself with the help of cerebrospinal fluid, which maintains intracranial pressure and exchanges beneficial substances between the blood and the brain. Deterioration of cerebrospinal fluid circulation during sleep leads to a decrease in memory and the accumulation of toxic proteins - amyloid beta, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease. It turned out that approximately the same thing happens with the eyes - during sleep, they also cleanse themselves, and further studies may help find a way to treat one of the most common causes of blindness - glaucoma. We tell you how interesting the results are.

The human eye is most likely able to cleanse itself during sleep

How to clean your eyes

According to work published in the journal ScienceTranslational Medicine, the body cleanses itself with the help of the pseudolymphatic system - glyphatic. The glyphatic system works the same as the lymphatic one, with the only difference being that it is made of glial cells that help the sensitive ends of neurons to form, thereby affecting their functions. The glyphatic system, as expected, works at night, during sleep.

Since the glyphatic system was firstfound in mice, scientists have not infallibly believed that mice can again help us learn something about ourselves. In the course of the study, it was found that the glyphatic system is not only in the brain, but also in the eyes, and in the eyes of mice there is a separate “integrated cleaning system”. It is similar to glyphatic - it works like a network, delivering garbage to the lymphatic system.

You will be interested: Sleep helps the brain forget unnecessary memories

It looks like a human eye under a microscope

Based on data from a previous study onthe fact that in the process of self-cleaning the brain gets rid of amyloid beta (one of the junk proteins), which can be read in detail in an article by my colleague Vladimir Kuznetsov, scientists injected fluorescent amyloid into their eyes to monitor them and see what was happening. Immediately after introduction into the eye, the protein was captured by the optic nerve, and a few hours later, through specialized channels in the optic nerve, it got into the body's debris system - lymphatic, or rather, into the lymph nodes on the neck of rodents. As the authors of the study write in their work, the analysis showed that mice have a highly polarized eye cleaning system, which in the future will help us better understand eye health and their diseases. To keep abreast of news from the world of popular science, subscribe to our news channel on Telegram.

How to treat glaucoma?

Since glaucoma develops mainly due to excessive accumulation of fluid, it is likely that the cause of its development is a violation in the operation of the eye cleaning system. If so, then the new study is a real medical breakthrough. Glaucoma is one of the mostcommon causes of complete loss of vision. In general, this is a group of diseases that affects the optic nerve and leads to a change in the fields of view, which is usually combined with increased intraocular pressure. Intraocular pressure is known to be greatly increased in glaucoma.

The eyes definitely have something in common with black holes

According to Science Alert, according to the authorsscientific work, the data obtained represent a starting point for further research on how the glyphatic system affects the development and course of a number of eye diseases. Like the brain inside the cranium, the internal structures of the eye are located in a limited space, which requires tight control of fluid homeostasis, the scientists write in their article.

While the glyphatic system of the brainworks at night — that’s why sleep is so important — the eye cleaning system appears to be activated when the iris moves in response to a change in light.

It is important to note that the subjects in the newthe study was performed by laboratory mice, not humans. However, these animals have eyes that are similar to our mechanisms of work, although at a more simplified level. In addition, the discovery of the glyphatic system in the human brain was also inspired by experiments on rodents, which again increases the likelihood that, most likely, our eyes also clear themselves at night. For even more fascinating articles on how different systems of the human body work, read our channel in Google News. Subscribe in order not to miss anything interesting.

See also: How can worms get in a person’s eyes?

Let me remind you that the eye is one of the most complex andamazing organs that has formed over billions of years of evolution. In the past, it was believed that the structure of the eye was so complex and incomprehensible that it was evidence of the existence of God. But you and I know that this is so only if nature itself and the power of evolution is God. One way or another, we still have much to learn about how the organ functions and why the organ is sick, with which we can distinguish the colors of the spectrum and even study the atmosphere of distant stars.