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Low cerebral blood flow can spur the characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease

Alan Moses
Health Day Reporter

Thursday, October 15, 2020 (HealthDay News)-A new study that provides fresh insights into the deep-seated roots of dementia shows that reduced blood flow to the brain is associated with the accumulation of proteins long associated with Alzheimer’s disease I found it tied.

A high level protein called “tau” is “one of the hallmarks that define Alzheimer’s disease in the brain,” explained research author Judy Pa. She is an associate professor of neurology at the Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the University of Southern California.

“Tau tangles track the progression of Alzheimer’s disease so closely that increasing the number of tau tangles in the brain increases memory and thinking problems,” Pa said.

And new research shows “reduced blood flow” [is] It is associated with an increase in tau in brain regions that are important for Alzheimer’s disease. “

According to the National Institute on Aging, billions of neurons in the brain are working tirelessly to ensure proper nervous system communication and healthy physical functioning.

But when an abnormal tau protein entanglement opens a store, its mission is seriously undermined. internal Neuron. Nonetheless, both NIA experts and Pa point out that decreased vascular function (often manifested as decreased cerebral blood flow) has long been associated with the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

“Several risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease are known to be associated with vascular health,” Pa points out, and there is a risk among hypertensive patients and smokers or physically inactive patients. He said it was rising.

But is tau entanglement closely related to reduced blood flow in the brain? Pa’s team has embarked on an investigation.

Between 2016 and 2019, brain scans were performed on a group of 68 men and women between the ages of 46 and 80. This group included a wide range of patients, from mental health to mild cognitive impairment.

The scan revealed that blood flow was also reduced in areas of the brain where tau tangles were increased. This was especially true in the area of ​​the brain known as the “inferior temporal gyrus.” It is believed to be one of the first areas of the brain to have tau accumulation in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, even before the apparent signs of thought disorders become apparent. ..

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The team then poured into brain scan data collected between 2017 and 2019 for another group of 138 patients enrolled in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative. Patients included men and women diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.

Again, the team found that a decrease in cerebral blood flow overlapped with an increase in brain tangles.

“Then, this association was found to be stronger in people with low cognitive ability and those with high amyloid pathology levels. [plaques]”Pa said. This suggests that “the relationship between blood flow and tau is important and meaningful” and that “maintaining vascular health is very important as we get older.”

Survey results on October 12 Journal of Neuroscience..

“After all, we want to prevent Alzheimer’s disease before it develops. Current research shows that managing risk factors, including those that are vascular, may help prevent or reduce Alzheimer’s disease. It is suggested. “

As a matter of fact, that would mean trying to get those risk factors that can be modified under better control, said Rebecca Edelmeier, director of scientific involvement at the Alzheimer’s Association.

“Age is clearly the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease,” she said. “And genetics and family history also promote risk, but we have recently done a lot of research on different ways in which modifiable risk factors can be influenced to support cardiovascular health. I’m doing, but the vascular system of the brain. “

That could mean controlling high blood pressure with a better diet and more exercise, or a combination of medication and lifestyle changes, according to Edelmeier.

But which comes first: poor vascular health or tau accumulation? Edelmeier warned that the answer “remains unknown.”

“This study is exciting,” said Edelmayer. “But I can’t really say that I know the causative factors until I can better understand the sequence of events that lead to Alzheimer’s disease.” That requires further research that “leaves no stones.” She said.

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