Endorestiform Nucleus: Scientist Just Discovered a New Part of the Human Brain

A scientist has identified a new part of the human brain in a discovery he compared to finding a new star. 

The newly named endorestiform nucleus sits in the inferior cerebellar peduncle, at the junction between the brain and spinal cord. The inferior cerebellar peduncle helps us with balance, fine motor movements and maintaining posture.

Professor George Paxinos, of Neuroscience Research Australia, who found the segment commented in a statement on the research institute’s site: “The region is intriguing because it seems to be absent in the rhesus monkey and other animals that we have studied. This region could be what makes humans unique besides our larger brain size.”

Paxinos told ScienceAlert: "The inferior cerebellar peduncle is like a river carrying information from the spinal cord and brainstem to the cerebellum.

brain-stock A scientist has identified a new part of the human brain in a discovery he compared to finding a new star. The newly named endorestiform nucleus sits in the inferior cerebellar peduncle, at the junction between the brain and spinal cord. Getty Images

"The endorestiform nucleus is a group of neurons, and it is like an island in this river."

However, the job of the endorestiform nucleus itself remains a mystery for now.

Paxinos said he can only guess at its function, “but given the part of the brain where it has been found, it might be involved in fine motor control.”

The finding has not yet been peer-reviewed, according to Science Alert. Paxinos detailed the portion of the brain in his book Human Brainstem: Cytoarchitecture, Chemoarchitecture, Myeloarchitecture.

If supported and confirmed by other scientists, the discovery could expand our understanding of the brain. It could therefore aid researchers who are working toward cures for neurological conditions such as Parkinson's and motor neuron disease, the scientist said.

Paxinos said he suspected the presence of the region for three decades, but only recently had the equipment to prove its existence. He used staining and imaging techniques to do this.

Lyndsey Collins-Praino of Adelaide University, who was not involved in the study, called the research “intriguing” but said it is “too early to know its true significance.

Earlier this year, scientists identified a new organ in the body.

Researchers co-led by New York University's (NYU) School of Medicine described the interstitium as a shock-absorbing tissue beneath the skin, gut and blood vessels. It is comprised of a mesh of strong and flexible connective tissue proteins.

The claims were published in the journal Scientific Reports. The team were optimistic that their paper would help to answer why cancers that attack this area of the body become more likely to metastasize. One potential reasons is that interstitium’s fluid drains into the lymphatic system, a vital player in the immune system.

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