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Neuroimmunology: The Brain as a Cognitive Antigen

Difficulty level

This lecture focuses on how the immune system can target and attack the nervous system to produce autoimmune responses that may result in diseases such as multiple sclerosis, neuromyelitis, and lupus cerebritis manifested by motor, sensory, and cognitive impairments. Despite the fact that the brain is an immune-privileged site, autoreactive lymphocytes producing proinflammatory cytokines can cause active brain inflammation, leading to myelin and axonal loss.

Topics covered in this lesson
  • Immune system basics
  • Innate and adaptive immunity
  • Impaired immune recognition in autoimmune disease
  • Protective mechanisms in the brain
  • Role of cerebrospinal fluid
  • The blood-brain barrier
  • T-cell migration across the barrier
  • Immune cells and immune surveillance in the central nervous system
  • Demyelinating disordes
  • Progressive multifokal leukoencephalopathy
  • Multiple sclerosis