Until recently, dogma dictated that the immune system and the central nervous system (CNS) live mostly separate, parallel lives, and any interactions between the two were assumed to be limited to extreme cases of pathological insult. It was only a decade ago that T cells in the injured brain were shown to play a protective rather than a destructive role. In this article, we explore the role of the immune system in the healthy brain, focusing on the key function that T lymphocytes have in the regulation of cognition. We discuss candidate mechanisms underlying T cell-mediated control of cognitive function in human cognitive diseases associated with immune decline, such as age- and HIV-related dementias, 'chemo-brain' and others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-463
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


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