As it turns out, this new organ happens to be another set of the many glands that help secrete who-knows-what throughout our bodies.
While conducting research on patients with head and neck cancer, oncologists in the Netherlands noticed something strange.
Using positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) scans, a new type of diagnostic imaging, doctors noticed two areas of the brain unexpectedly light up.
This came across as quite the surprise. So, these scientists did what scientists do best; they investigated even more.
The new findings were not an anomaly. As it turns out, all 100 of the patients scanned displayed the same results.
Researchers suspected that this new organ was a set of salivary glands – yet another addition to the three pairs we already have in our heads.
To confirm their discovery, scientists cross-analyzed their findings with Amsterdam UMC.
There, doctors searched cadavers (yep, dead people!) and found the same mysterious new glands.
This new organ, dubbed the tubarial glands, is a critical discovery for those in the oncological field. Glands can be seriously affected by radiation, so knowing where they are is essential when creating a treatment plan.
Damaging the glands during radiation can have serious effects on a person’s quality of life. Complications from radiation can include trouble swallowing, speaking, and eating.
It’s possible that doctors were unintentionally causing these glands harm before their discovery. So, this is a huge step towards creating more effective treatment.
Here’s a video about the new glands!
What’s your take on these new glands in your head? Are you totally disgusted or relatively unbothered?
Let us know in the comments!