The (in)visible market of miriti (Mauritia flexuosa L.f.) fruits, the “winter acai” in Amazonian riverine communities of Abaetetuba, Northern Brazil

Elsevier, Global Ecology and Conservation, Volume 14, April 2018
Sousa F.F.D., Vieira-da-Silva C., Barros F.B.

The article entitled "The (in)visible market of miriti (Mauritia flexuosa L.f.) fruits, the “winter acai”, in Amazonian riverine communities of Abaetetuba, Northern Brazil" explores the economic and social dynamics of the miriti fruit market in riverine communities of Abaetetuba in Northern Brazil. Miriti is a popular fruit that is consumed during the winter months when acai berries are not available. The authors examine the ways in which miriti fruits are harvested, traded and consumed, and highlight the social and economic benefits that they bring to local communities. However, the article also points out the challenges faced by small-scale miriti producers, including the lack of infrastructure and support for marketing and distribution. The authors argue that the miriti fruit market is an important but often invisible sector of the local economy, and that greater attention and investment are needed to support its growth and development. The article concludes by calling for more research on the miriti market and its potential for promoting sustainable development in the region.

At the forefront of scientific innovation, the field of neuroimmunology explores the intricate interplay between the nervous and immune systems. With increasing evidence pointing to the influence of the immune system on neurological health, researchers are uncovering novel therapeutic targets for conditions ranging from multiple sclerosis to Alzheimer's disease.

In this article, we delve into the latest research on neuroimmunology and its implications for neurological health. We explore the intricate mechanisms through which the immune system and nervous system interact, shedding light on the dynamic interplay between these two essential systems.

The Intersection of Neurology and Immunology

The human body comprises several systems that work together to maintain homeostasis, including the nervous and immune systems. While traditionally viewed as distinct entities, emerging research has revealed a complex interplay between these two systems, with the immune system exerting a significant influence on neurological function.

One of the key mechanisms through which the immune system influences the nervous system is via inflammation. Inflammation is a crucial response to infection or injury, characterized by the release of immune cells and pro-inflammatory cytokines that promote tissue repair and combat pathogens.

However, chronic inflammation can also have detrimental effects on neurological health, with growing evidence linking inflammation to conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

The Role of Microglia

Microglia, the resident immune cells of the central nervous system, play a critical role in modulating inflammation and maintaining neurological health. These cells are responsible for surveilling the brain and spinal cord, and are activated in response to injury or infection.

Once activated, microglia release pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines that attract immune cells to the site of injury or infection. However, microglia also have a crucial role in resolving inflammation and promoting tissue repair, with recent research highlighting the potential of targeting these cells for therapeutic interventions.

The Gut-Brain Axis

Another key area of research in neuroimmunology is the gut-brain axis, which refers to the bidirectional communication between the gut microbiome and the central nervous system. The gut microbiome comprises trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that reside in the gastrointestinal tract and play a critical role in modulating immune function.

Recent research has uncovered a complex interplay between the gut microbiome and neurological health, with alterations in the gut microbiome linked to conditions such as depression, anxiety, and neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, studies have shown that manipulating the gut microbiome via probiotics or fecal microbiota transplantation can have beneficial effects on neurological function.

Therapeutic Implications

The burgeoning field of neuroimmunology is paving the way for novel therapeutic interventions for neurological conditions. By understanding the complex mechanisms through which the immune system influences neurological function, researchers are uncovering new targets for intervention and developing innovative treatments.

For example, recent research has focused on targeting microglia for therapeutic intervention, with promising results in animal models of multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, therapies that manipulate the gut microbiome are also showing promise, with studies suggesting that fecal microbiota transplantation may improve neurological function in patients with Parkinson's disease.