Researchers at the Institute of Biomedicine in Seville (IBiS) have discovered a new mechanism of Alzheimer’s disease that disorganizes blood vessels around amyloid plaques, one of the hallmarks of the disease. The study, published in the international journal Communications on Nature, was led by the laboratory of Dr. Alberto Pascual, of the Neuronal Maintenance Mechanisms Group of the IBiS and was carried out mainly by María Isabel Álvarez Vergara and Alicia E. Rosales-Nieves.
Relevance of the finding
Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of dementia worldwide. In Spain, its incidence increases dramatically as the population ages and, unfortunately, the origin of the disease is still unknown.
The mechanism proposed in this study is mediated by the dysfunction of a physiological process, angiogenesis. This mechanism is important during development to form the vessels of the brain and in adulthood to reverse possible damage to pre-existing vessels. The study shows that Alzheimer’s disease induces a dysfunction of angiogenesis that causes the loss of vessels instead of forming new ones, undoubtedly aggravating the pathology. By identifying the molecular pathways involved, new therapeutic strategies can be rationally designed to alleviate the effects of this disease. The data also link familial (genetic) Alzheimer’s with problems in the formation of new blood vessels, highlighting the importance of the vascular component of the disease.
Destruction of blood vessels complicates the disease.
A characteristic feature of Alzheimer’s patients is the accumulation of highly toxic substances in the brain, known as senile plaques. The brain has the ability to cleanse these toxic substances by transporting them through the blood. Thus, the fact that plaques cause the loss of vessels is a vicious circle: having fewer vessels reduces the brain’s ability to cleanse and allows the accumulation of more toxic substances, which in turn continue to destroy the vessels and worsen the situation.
The brain consumes large amounts of oxygen and nutrients from the body. Therefore, a local reduction in the supply of these substances through the blood represents an additional strain higher and higher than the existing strain due to the accumulation of toxic substances.
Maria I. Alvarez-Vergara et al, Nonproductive angiogenesis disassembles the blood vessels associated with Aß plaque, Communications on Nature (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-021-23337-z
University of Seville
CitationResearchers discovered a mechanism that reduces blood vessels in Alzheimer’s patients (2021, May 31) recovered on May 31, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-mechanism-blood-vessels- alzheimer-patients.html
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