BrainImmune’s Most-Read Stories of 2021

Our most popular stories with the highest number of pageviews

BrainImmunes Most Read Stories of 2021
Most-Read – BrainImmune

Discover the BrainImmune’s most-read stories of 2021.

As we celebrate the 10th Year Anniversary of BrainImmune – here’s a look at our top ten most popular articles with the highest number of pageviews.

Our #1 most popular article is Walter Cannon: Homeostasis, the Fight-or-Flight Response, the Sympathoadrenal System, and the Wisdom of the Body. This article is authored by David S. Goldstein, M.D., Ph.D., a Senior Investigator at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA.

Walter CannonWalter Bradford Cannon, a former Chairman of the Department of Physiology at Harvard Medical School (1906-1942), developed the concepts of ‘homeostasis’ (stability of the inner world); the ‘Fight or Flight Response’, and The ‘Sympathoadrenal System’. In 1932, Cannon published The Wisdom of the Body, where he popularized the new term of the dynamic equilibrium/steady state of the internal milieu or homeostasis.

Dr. Goldstein’s article outlines the nature of these concepts and how these three theories were developed in the first half of the 20th century. Noteworthy, as per David Goldstein, Cannon’s notion of a unitary sympathoadrenal system endures to this day. Many situations, however, entail differential regulation of the sympathetic nervous system and adrenomedullary hormonal system.

Our 2nd most popular article is The Brain Glymphatic System: From a Good Night’s Sleep to the Onset of Dementia, written by professors Maria Teresa Ferretti and Maria Florencia Iulita. Of note, Maria Teresa Ferretti is the Chief Scientific Officer of the Women’s Brain Project, Gunterhausen, Switzerland.

the brain’s glymphatic systemThe ‘glymphatic system’, recently discovered by professor Maiken Nedergaard and her group, is the system that drains waste products from the brain. The cerebrospinal fluid moves through the brain along a series of channels that surround blood vessels. The system is managed by the brain’s glial cells, and so the researchers called it the glymphatic system (see image at the right hand side).

How does the brain dispose of its interstitial fluid? How is brain waste eliminated? How are these processes relevant for dementia and neurodegeneration? These are a few questions discussed by Drs. Ferretti and Iulita in their BrainImmune’s article. The authors outline recent finding published in Science magazine, related to fluid dynamics in the brain in health and disease. The glymphatic system is mostly active during sleep. Yet the glymphatic system degrades with age, suggesting a causal relationship between sleep disturbance and symptomatic progression in the neurodegenerative dementias.

These findings provide a thorough description of the key mechanisms governing the brain’s glymphatic system, and the role of sleep in promoting fluid flow and brain waste elimination. Importantly, it appears that that a dysfunction of such mechanisms is a key, common basis to many neurodegenerative diseases involving protein aggregation, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and tau-related dementias.

Coming in at #3, and perhaps not surprisingly, is The Discovery of Interferon, the First Cytokine, by Alick Isaacs and Jean Lindenmann in 1957, written by professor Derek Burke, in the UK.

One reason is that the topic, or factual search term “the discovery of interferon”, linked and related to the above-mentioned BrainImmune article – over the last 5-6 years – always shows up on the first page of a Google search! Perhaps another reason is that during the second year of the pandemic, the interest towards interferons is increased, as interferon deficit and issues have been linked to the pathogenesis of COVID-19.

The other reason is that the articles The Discovery of Interferon, the First Cytokine, by Alick Isaacs and Jean Lindenmann in 1957 (#3), as well as the article Hans Selye and the Birth of the Stress Concept (see below, #4) are really unique in that the discovery of interferon and the Hans Selye stress concept, are written by Profs. Derek Burke and Istvan Berczi, two investigators who had the chance to work along Alick Isaacs and Hans Selye, respectively.

Anyhow, here are the BrainImmune top ten most popular articles in 2021:

  1. Walter Cannon: Homeostasis, the Fight-or-Flight Response, the Sympathoadrenal System, and the Wisdom of the Body
    by David Goldstein
  2. The Brain Glymphatic System: From a Good Night’s Sleep to the Onset of Dementia,
    by Maria Teresa Ferretti and Maria Florencia Iulita.
  3. The Discovery of Interferon, the First Cytokine, by Alick Isaacs and Jean Lindenmann in 1957
    by Derek Burke
  4. Hans Selye and the Birth of the Stress Concept
    by Istvan Berczi
  5. The Cross-talk between the Dopaminergic System and Innate Immunity: An Evolving Concept
    by Monica Pinoli
  6. The Discovery of Adrenaline
    by Ashley Grossman and David Jessop
  7. Endogenous Catecholamines in Immune Cells: Discovery, Functions And Clinical Potential as Therapeutic Targets
    By Marco Cosentino, Natasa Kustrimovic and Franca Marino
  8. Claude Bernard, the Father of Modern Physiology and Experimental Medicine
    By Vincent Geenen
  9. Philip Hench – Cortisone and Rheumatoid Arthritis, 1948
    by Dimana Broadway and Ronald Wilder
  10. Disruption of Brain TNF Homeostasis Elicits Maladaptive Alterations Producing Chronic Pain
    by Robert Spengler and Tracey Ignatowski


Support BrainImmune  – the first online resource in the broad interdisciplinary area of neuroendocrine-immunology and stress-immune interactions.

Partnership and supportThe fulfilment of BrainImmune’s undertaking and its further growth depends on generous gifts and grants from those who understand and value our mission, share our passion and support our work.

Will you lend us a hand? We rely on your support in order to help the advancement of a new medical research field with great potential!

Please visit our Donate page. Thanks!