Up until now, believing that your mind had a direct impact on your immune system was considered rather woo-woo in some circles. But now, scientists have found a mechanism they can actually see and touch and make predictions about. And that opens doors to a lot more research–and a whole new shift in seeing things.

There are two things I love about this new study: Researchers Find Textbook-Altering Link Between Brain, Immune System.  The first is the findings themselves: Scientists “…have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis.

“It changes entirely the way we perceive the neuro-immune interaction,” said Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, one of the researchers. “We always perceived it before as something esoteric that can’t be studied. But now we can ask mechanistic questions.”

Kevin Lee, PhD, chairman of the University of Virginia Department of Neuroscience, said: “The first time these guys showed me the basic result, I just said one sentence: ‘They’ll have to change the textbooks.’ ”

The second thing I love about this research…there are those few times in life when the universe rocks your world and you have to rethink your stance on reality. You can tell in this article that the scientists involved were probably going through just that.  After all, if their findings are correct, then our agreed upon reality has just shifted ever so much.