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Study: Leaky blood-brain barrier linked to cognitive decline and dementia

sn-bloodbrainLeaky 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.

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