Originally posted 2016-06-01 14:22:44.
When neurons die, their remains need to be eliminated quickly so that the surrounding brain tissue can continue functioning. A type of highly specialised cell known as microglia is responsible for this process which is called phagocytosis (derived from the Greek “phagein”, to eat, and “kitos”, cell). These tiny cells have numerous branches that are constantly on the move inside the brain and are specially equipped to detect and destroy any foreign element, including dead neurons. Or that is what has been believed until now.