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Open Access The Emerging Field of Perivascular Flow Dynamics: Biological Relevance and Clinical Applications

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Brain-wide pathways of perivascular flow help clear the brain of proteins and metabolic waste linked to the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Recent studies on the glymphatic system and novel lymphatic vessels of the meninges have prompted new insight into the clinical significance of perivascular flow. Current techniques in both humans and animals are unable to fully reveal the complex functional and anatomical features of these clearance pathways. While much research has stemmed from fluorescence microscopy and MR imaging, clinical and experimental investigations are hindered by the lack of more advanced and precise technology. In this review, we discuss the biological relevance of the glymphatic and perivascular clearance systems, the innovative technology that has defined these pathways, and the potential for new studies to advance our understanding of degenerative brain diseases using similar technology.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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  • Technology and Innovation, edited and published by the National Academy of Inventors, is a forum for presenting information encompassing the entire field of applied sciences, with a focus on transformative technology and academic innovation. Regular features of T&I include commentaries contributed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in-depth profiles of Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors in every issue.

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