Heart Drug May Work to Treat Alzheimer’s By Preventing Plaque Build-Up in Brain

Heart Drug May Work to Treat Alzheimer’s By Preventing Plaque Build-Up in Brain
Swedish researchers demonstrated that a heart medication can reduce the build-up of plaque in brain blood vessels in mice. If findings in this animal study hold true for humans, scientists may be closer to developing a drug against Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The study, “Platelets contribute to amyloid-β aggregation in cerebral vessels through integrin αIIbβ3–induced outside-in signaling and clusterin release, was published in the journal Science Signaling. Researchers at Örebro University, working in collaboration with Italian and German scientists, found a previously unknown mechanism to be the origin of fast plaque build-up in blood vessels in the brain. They also conducted experiments in mice to determine whether a specific heart medication is capable of reducing plaque formation. "You should be careful not to draw any major conclusions from experimental studies, but we have certainly identified an interesting approach worth taking further," Professor Magnus Grenegård of Örebro University said in a news release. The scientists showed that the beta-amyloid protein sticks to the surface of blood platelets (thrombocytes), instigating a rapid chain reaction and leading to a quick build-up of plaque. "Plaque causes nerve cells to die at too fast a rate,
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