This process is way more important for our bodies than you can imagine. In fact, it prevents dead cells from obstructing brain connections and damaging the surrounding tissue.
That makes it crucial, especially for patients who suffer from brain injuries, neurodegenerative diseases, and other disorders. Thanks to a team of scientists at Yale University (USA), we now know exactly how this process takes place.
For the first time ever, a team of scientists managed to record a video of how neurons are destroyed inside our brains. You can find the video at the top of this article, courtesy of YaleCampus.
As you will see in the video, a dead neuron (red) is surrounded by the brain's immune cells, also known as microglia.
Over the course of 24 hours, the microglia fragments the dead neuron and consumes its contents, preventing it from blocking the activity of surrounding neurons. A very interesting and complex procedure that's definitely worth checking out.
The authors of the study told Science Advances:
Cell death is very common in diseases of the brain, and understanding the process might yield insights on how to address cell death in an injured brain from head trauma to stroke and other conditions.