Scientists at a US University have found that a crucial cell in the human brain that develops immunity for the central nervous system is formed shortly after conception contrary to earlier perception of being generated during birth.

This discovery by the researchers from Mount Sinai Medical Centre that the immune cells in the brain called as Microglia, would bring in new forms of treatment for brain diseases in the future. It also throws open the doors for scientists globally to do more research on embryonic stem cells. Scientists had expected that microglia cells were formed during birth similar to macrophages, the other disease fighting cells

"This really is a startling discovery," said Miriam Merad, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Gene and Cell Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Principal Investigator of the study that published online in the Scence Express.

"Now that we know that microglia originate in early embryos, theoretically we should be able to generate microglia from embryonic stem cells to treat brain diseases caused by defective microglia".

Founded in 1852, the Mount Sinai Hospital is one of America's oldest and largest voluntary hospitals. It houses a research centre where doctors work on new discoveries.

Scientists at the Mount Sinai School used Mouse for their research. They shifted blood cell precursors from one newborn mouse to another, which indicated that microglia origniated in the embroynic stage.

They found in another study using adult mice that the microglia cells get formed within a week of conception, as against the popular pereception of being generated during birth. If the Microglia cell is defective, it could potentially damage the brain and lead to brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis.