The presence of accumulated toxic protein aggregations such as amyloid-β, tau, and α- synuclein are implicated in the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s (Soto 2003). Thus, the clearance or removal of these harmful byproducts in healthy brain aging previously represented an unknown system whose functionality is likely to be clinically significant. The finding that directional flow of CSF and interstitial fluid through the brain ensures brain clearance sparked numerous research projects which sought to elaborate on what is now known as the glymphatic system. After initial research revealed the fundamentals of the glymphatic system, scientist J. Iliff defined it as a macroscopic waste clearance system originating from a unique system of perivascular tunnels, supported by astroglial cells, which functions to promote the efficient removal of soluble proteins and metabolites from the central nervous system (Iliff 2012). Now that several years have passed, numerous research groups have investigated the development, functionality, and structural components of the glymphatic system. In an effort to consolidate all of this information, PhD student Martin Kaag Rasmussen created an in-depth review paper on all topics related to the glymphatic system and fluid transport in the brain. In addition to creating effective resources on the glymphatic system, other research groups such as Tuomas Liliusm, et. al have launched investigation into its clinical applications—particularly as a route for targeted delivery of therapeutic drugs. Ultimately, in order to ensure these researchers’ literature is most effective in informing its readers, I volunteered to create illustrations to supplement a scientific field with very few pre-existing visual references.
Martin Kaag Rasmussen
Fisher, Austin, "Central Nervous System: Development, Function, and Applications of the Glymphatic System (with additional neuroscience topics)" (2021). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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