Blood Vessels Loaded with Amyloid Worsen Alzheimer’s

Mounting scientific evidence has revealed that changes in the structure and function of cerebral blood vessels contribute to brain dysfunction underlying Alzheimer’s disease.

(Related: The challenges of Alzheimer’s Disease for both the patient and caregiver)

It was discovered by a team of researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College that amyloid peptides are harmful to the blood vessels that supply the brain with blood in Alzheimer’s disease — ultimately accelerating cognitive decline by limiting oxygen-rich blood and nutrients.

(Related: How do you get a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or other dementias?)

In their animal studies, the investigators demonstrate how amyloid-B accumulates in blood vessels and how to potentially prevent the accumulation and damage.

(Related: Test Your Memory for Alzheimer’s (5 Best Tests))

Published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), their study is the first to identify the role that the innate immunity receptor CD36 plays in damaging cerebral blood vessels and promoting the accumulation of amyloid deposits in these vessels, a condition known as cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA).

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