Amyloid Plaques Found To Build Up Around Brain’s Blood Vessels Involved in Alzheimer’s Disease

Amyloid Plaques Found To Build Up Around Brain’s Blood Vessels Involved in Alzheimer’s Disease
Amyloid plaques impair astrocyte function to regulate brain vessels' blood flow in Alzheimer's disease. These are the findings from a study entitled Vascular amyloidosis impairs the gliovascular unit in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease," published in the journal Brain. In this study, the researchers investigated the role of astrocytes, star-shaped specialized glial cells in the brain and spinal cord that play key functions in the brain. "Astrocytes serve many support functions, such as shuttling nutrients from blood vessels to nerve cells or removing their waste products. They also control the diameter of blood vessels to assure proper nutrient and oxygen delivery to the brain and maintenance of the blood-brain barrier. In response to injury and disease, however, astrocytes become reactive and change many of their supportive properties," Harald Sontheimer, director of the Center for Glial Biology in Health, Disease, and Cancer at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and study lead author, explained in a press release. Sontheimer's team found that the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain, the characteristic symptom of Alzheimer’s patients, disrupts the brain’s blood flow, which is regulated by astrocytes. "We found that amyloid deposits separated astrocytes from the blood vessel wall. We also found that these amyloid deposits form an exoskeleton around the blood vessels, a kind of cast that reduces the pliability of th
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.