Healthy blood vessels may delay cognitive decline

Healthy blood vessels may delay cognitive decline
Distribution of astrocytes and aquaporin channels in rat brain sections. Credit: Nygaard Mortensen et al., JNeurosci 2019

High blood pressure may affect conditions such as Alzheimer's disease by interfering with the brain's waste management system, according to new research in rats published in JNeurosci. Maintaining blood vessel health could therefore help stave off cognitive decline.

Hypertension causes stiffening and elasticity loss in , which hinders clearance of waste molecules from the brain. Using a rat model of hypertension, Maiken Negergaard and colleagues at the University of Copenhagen and Yale School of Medicine studied how the condition affects the movement of cerebrospinal fluid into and interstitial fluid out of .

The researchers tracked the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and found that the hypertensive rats exhibited larger ventricles, decreased brain volume, and impaired fluid transport. They concluded that hypertension interferes with the clearance of macromolecules from the brain, such as the Alzheimer's pathology protein β-amyloid. Treatments targeting hypertension could in turn reduce β-amyloid buildup and delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.


Explore further

Sleep problems, Alzheimer's disease are linked, but which comes first?

More information: Impaired Glymphatic Transport in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats, JNeurosci (2019). DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1974-18.2019
Journal information: Journal of Neuroscience

Citation: Healthy blood vessels may delay cognitive decline (2019, June 17) retrieved 21 July 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-06-healthy-blood-vessels-cognitive-decline.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
6 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

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