Beth Stevens, being a very well-known brain researcher, may have thought of microglia as being much of an annoyance during her very first years of her career. However, it would not have occurred to her that just a few years later, she would be the head researcher in two of the most distinct labs located at Boston Children’s Hospital, as well as Harvard.
According to her research, as published in some of the top scientific journals, microglia, known collectively as Glia, may be the key to not only understanding the development of the normal brain but also the causes of Alzheimer’s, autism, schizophrenia, Huntington’s, as well as other brain disorders.
Being part of a larger cell class, Microglia is responsible for several brain functions that guide the brain’s development, thus serving as an immune system by fighting diseases and any other damaged cells. Stevens, together with her research partner and mentor, Ben Barres among other scientists, indicate that the brain cells provide the neurons they surround with much more than support. As a result, her suggestions in regards to Microglia have raised a lot of eyebrows as it would seem that most brain disorders are in a way triggered by our very own bodily defenses.
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