Faults in the blood-brain barrier implicated in dementia

February 6, 2018, Alzheimer's Research UK

California based researchers have found that damage to cells known as pericytes, which surround small blood vessels in the brain, may trigger a chain of events that results in brain degeneration. The findings are published today in the scientific publication Nature Medicine.

Dr. Carol Routledge, Director of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK, said:

"It is vital that the brain maintains a good blood supply to support its myriad of important functions. Changes to blood vessels in the brain is a feature of the diseases that cause dementia, but we don't fully understand the detail of these processes and how they impact .

"This research in mice found that the collapse of cells guarding the smallest in the brain may cause the important barrier between the blood and the brain to breakdown and give rise to changes similar to those seen in people who are developing dementia. This process appears to be triggered by a protein in the called fibrinogen.

"These gatekeeper cells may represent an important target for future treatments but as with any research in mice, we will need to see how well this work translates to humans. Continued investment into research is the only way to follow up on interesting new findings like these and investigate how we can best combat diseases that cause dementia."

Explore further: Half of all dementias start with damaged 'gatekeeper cells'

Related Stories

Half of all dementias start with damaged 'gatekeeper cells'

February 5, 2018
USC research sheds new light on how a breakdown in the brain's vascular system predates the accumulation of toxic plaques and tangles in the brain that bring about Alzheimer's disease. The research suggests an earlier target ...

Understanding removal of brain fluid provides avenue for Alzheimer's treatment

November 13, 2017
Researchers in Switzerland have investigated the way fluid is removed from around the brain. Finding a new pathway for its removal, their work may signal a paradigm shift in how scientists think about this process and could ...

Tiny blood vessels in the brain could be the key in treating vascular dementia

June 22, 2017
Researchers from the University of Southampton are to study tiny channels embedded in the walls of blood vessels in the brain to assess their impact on dementia.

A glitch in 'gatekeeper cells' slowly suffocates the brain

January 30, 2017
Abnormality with special cells that wrap around blood vessels in the brain leads to neuron deterioration, possibly affecting the development of Alzheimer's disease, a USC-led study reveals.

Q&A: Lifelong strategies for preventing dementia

November 17, 2017
Dear Mayo Clinic: Do puzzles and other activities or apps that claim to lower one's risk of developing dementia actually work? Are there other things people can do to decrease the risk?

Key protein may affect risk of stroke

June 26, 2015
Studies on mice reveal that a special protein in the brain's tiniest blood vessels may affect the risk of stroke. Peter Carlsson, professor in genetics at the University of Gothenburg, and his research team are publishing ...

Recommended for you

Hypothesis underpinning dementia research 'flawed'

October 16, 2018
A hypothesis which has been the standard way of explaining how the body develops Alzheimer's Disease for almost 30 years is flawed, according to a University of Manchester biologist.

Study suggests biological basis for depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances in older adults

October 15, 2018
UC San Francisco researchers, in collaboration with the unique Brazilian Biobank for Aging Studies (BBAS) at the University of São Paulo, have shown that the earliest stages of the brain degeneration associated with Alzheimer's ...

Many cases of dementia may arise from non-inherited DNA 'spelling mistakes'

October 15, 2018
Only a small proportion of cases of dementia are thought to be inherited—the cause of the vast majority is unknown. Now, in a study published today in the journal Nature Communications, a team of scientists led by researchers ...

Scientists create new map of brain region linked to Alzheimer's disease

October 8, 2018
Curing some of the most vexing diseases first requires navigating the world's most complex structure—the human brain. So, USC scientists have created the most detailed atlas yet of the brain's memory bank.

Previously unknown genetic aberrations found to be associated with Alzheimer's progression

October 8, 2018
In a large-scale analysis of RNA from postmortem human brain tissue, researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Columbia University have identified specific RNA splicing events associated with Alzheimer's ...

Periodontal disease bacteria may kick-start Alzheimer's

October 4, 2018
Long-term exposure to periodontal disease bacteria causes inflammation and degeneration of brain neurons in mice that is similar to the effects of Alzheimer's disease in humans, according to a new study from researchers at ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.