The glymphatic system: Current understanding and modeling

Tomas Bohr, Poul G. Hjorth, Sebastian C. Holst, Sabina Hrabětová, Vesa Kiviniemi, Tuomas Lilius, Iben Lundgaard, Kent Andre Mardal, Erik A. Martens, Yuki Mori, U. Valentin Nägerl, Charles Nicholson, Allen Tannenbaum, John H. Thomas, Jeffrey Tithof, Helene Benveniste, Jeffrey J. Iliff, Douglas H. Kelley, Maiken Nedergaard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We review theoretical and numerical models of the glymphatic system, which circulates cerebrospinal fluid and interstitial fluid around the brain, facilitating solute transport. Models enable hypothesis development and predictions of transport, with clinical applications including drug delivery, stroke, cardiac arrest, and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease. We sort existing models into broad categories by anatomical function: Perivascular flow, transport in brain parenchyma, interfaces to perivascular spaces, efflux routes, and links to neuronal activity. Needs and opportunities for future work are highlighted wherever possible; new models, expanded models, and novel experiments to inform models could all have tremendous value for advancing the field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104987
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 16 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All authors attended the workshop “The glymphatic system: From theoretical models to clinical applications,” engaged in extended discussion, and wrote the paper collaboratively. We declare no conflicts of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)


  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neuroscience
  • Systems biology

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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