Leaky blood-brain barrier linked to Alzheimer’s disease (Science Daily):
“Researchers using contrast-enhanced MRI have identified leakages in the blood-brain barrier (BBB) of people with early Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology. The results suggest that increased BBB permeability may represent a key mechanism in the early stages of the disease.
The BBB, a collection of cells and subcellular structures in the cerebrovascular wall that separates the circulating blood from the brain, is essential to keep brain tissue in healthy condition. It regulates the delivery of important nutrients and blocks neurotoxins, while removing surplus substances from the brain…The BBB leakage rate was significantly higher in AD patients compared with controls and the leakage was distributed throughout the cerebrum–the largest part of the brain. AD patients had a significantly higher percentage of leaking brain tissue in the gray matter, including the cortex, the brain’s outer layer. The researchers also found that measurements derived from the histogram showed very subtle BBB impairment in the brain’s white matter…
“For Alzheimer’s research, this means that a novel tool has become available to study the contribution of blood-brain barrier impairment in the brain to disease onset and progression in early stages or pre-stages of dementia,” he said.
Study: Leaky blood-brain barrier linked to Alzheimer’s disease (Radiology). From the abstract:
- Purpose: To investigate whether the blood-brain barrier (BBB) leaks blood-circulating substances in patients with early forms of Alzheimer disease (AD), and if so, to examine the extent and pattern of leakage.
- Conclusion: The results of this study showed global BBB leakage in patients with early AD that is associated with cognitive decline. A compromised BBB may be part of a cascade of pathologic events that eventually lead to cognitive decline and dementia.