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The Brain’s Gardeners: Immune Cells ‘Prune’ Connections Between Neurons

February 19, 2016

A new study at the University of Rochester shows that cells normally associated with protecting the brain from infection and injury also play an important role in rewiring the connections between nerve cells. While this discovery sheds new light on the mechanics of neuroplasticity, it could also help explain diseases like autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and dementia, which may arise when this process breaks down and connections between brain cells are not formed or removed correctly.