Scientists from the University of Oslo found that Alzheimer’s disease causes changes in the small blood vessels in the brain.
The research is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and was conducted by Associate Professor Reidun Torp et al.
If the blood supply to your brain decreases, it can trigger Alzheimer’s disease. The blood flow in the brain changes with Alzheimer’s disease.
Nerve cells are destroyed, and this must have something to do with the blood supply. Blood carries both oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
The disease begins to develop long before patients get any symptoms—changes occur over 10 to 12 years before people notice that anything is wrong
In the study, the team aimed to see whether this leads to more or fewer blood vessels and what role one particular protein plays in such a process.
In order to see the connection between the disease and the blood supply to the brain, the researchers wanted to find out whether the density of small blood vessels in the brain decreases, increases or remains unchanged in a patient with Alzheimer’s.
They found that the density of blood vessels was unchanged in mice that had a lot of senile plaque, compared to mice without plaque.
The protein deposits from the plaque affected the walls of the blood vessels and changed their growth factors, which would indicate that the vessels no longer function as they should.
Growth factors are proteins that break down and form new blood vessels in the brain. We believe that it is this process that is disrupted in Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the researchers, the study led to several new discoveries. One was that a type of cells called pericytes are destroyed by senile plaques in the blood vessels.
Pericytes lie partly round the smallest blood vessels, allowing these to contract and regulate the bloodstream in the brain.
Torp points out that a great deal of research is being carried out into Alzheimer’s and she can see a lot of positive signs.
If you care about Alzheimer’s, please read studies about the root cause of Alzheimer’s disease, and new non-drug treatment could help prevent Alzheimer’s.
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