Scientists discover new culprit for Alzheimer’s

Leaky blood vessels may trigger Alzheimer’s disease, according to new research.

New Alzheimer’s culprit discovered

Leaky blood vessels in the brain could signal the early onset of Alzheimer’s disease well before the toxic amyloid or tau proteins associated with the disease begin to appear, according to new research.

It is hoped the University of Southern California findings (USC) could help with earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and suggest new targets for drugs that could slow or prevent the onset of the disease.

USC’s five-year study, which involved 161 older adults, showed that people with the worst memory problems also had the most leakage in their brain’s blood vessels – regardless of whether abnormal amyloid and tau proteins were present.

“The fact that we’re seeing the blood vessels leaking, independent of tau and independent of amyloid, when people have cognitive impairment on a mild level, suggests it could be a totally separate process or a very early process,” said senior author Berislav Zlokovic. “What was surprising was that this blood-brain barrier breakdown is occurring independently.”

In healthy brains, the cells that make up blood vessels fit together so tightly they form a barrier that keeps stray cells, pathogens, metals and other unhealthy substances from reaching brain tissue. Scientists call this the blood-brain barrier. In some ageing brains, the seams between cells loosen, and the blood vessels become permeable.

“If the blood-brain barrier is not working properly, then there is the potential for damage,” said co-author Arthur Toga.

“It suggests the vessels aren’t properly providing the nutrients and blood flow that the neurons need. And you have the possibility of toxic proteins getting in.”

Participants in the study had their memory and thinking ability assessed through a series of tasks and tests, resulting in measures of cognitive function and a “clinical dementia rating score”.

Individuals diagnosed with disorders that might account for cognitive impairment were excluded.

The researchers used neuroimaging and cerebral spinal fluid analysis to measure the permeability, or leakiness, of capillaries serving the brain’s hippocampus, and found a strong correlation between impairment and leakage.

The researchers cautioned that their findings represent a snapshot in time. In future studies, they hope to get a better sense of how soon cognitive problems occur after blood vessel damage appears.

Do you feel as though researchers are getting closer to a cure for Alzheimer’s? How long do you think it will take before scientists are able to eradicate the disease?



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    23rd Jan 2019
    Startling! Leaky blood vessels in the brain may cause loss of cognitive etc ability... Well - who'd 've thunk it?

    Maybe they need to look at blood thinners as well..... more than one person has commented on being 'hazy' or 'fuzzy' after those first call injections at a hospital when attending for chest pain and possible heart attack...

    Seems to me that while those 'blood thinners' slicken the blood flow, they can also find any weakness in that flow.... if you use them, try not to do a Norman Gunston when shaving or anything..... can look like you fell into a barbed wire fence...
    23rd Jan 2019
    Exactly, I recall when it became the new thing to take an aspirin before flying to stop you getting DVT, I asked my doctor at the time, she said it’s a great idea if you want to potentially kill yourself with a bleed to some of your organs where there might be a weakness, needless to say I didn’t go down that track.
    23rd Jan 2019
    How the hell would I know?
    23rd Jan 2019
    The thing is any drug will come with lots of secondary effects so it's a downward spiral.

    Why not just look at the world's longest living culture, the Australian Aborigines and their amazing survival in our harsh country? WIn fact, when we analyse what they ate over 65,000 years we learn a lot. The original care-takers of this country ate from 3 to 10 times the variety of foods than we do today and these foods were vastly more nutrient dense than our rubbish foods today.

    An Australian plum (the Kakadu or Kalari plum) has the world's highest vitamin C capacity.

    A desert fruit, the native peach or quandong is second in line for total antioxidant capacity.

    Most wild fruits contain fat soluble antioxidants while modern fruits are totally devoid of this important component class.

    Wild fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices are high in bioavailable minerals. Modern foods are even bred as dwarf varieties because if they grow too tall they fall over from a lack of structural minerals eg silica.

    Wild foods can be claimed to be a rich source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, anti-allergens, anti-rogue cell (anti-proliferatives, pro-apopotics, anti-carcinogens, anti-mutagens), immune boosters, adaptogens, organic acids, organ protectants (brain, heart, liver, kidney, pancreas - the works), live enzymes and enzyme regulators, good sugars and bioavailable minerals

    I could go on...

    The result of their superior nutrition included living well into their 80s and more and still retaining an encyclopedic memory, all being polyglots and speaking more than 3 languages fluently and much more.

    So instead of hoping for Big Pharma to come up with a solution to our own lifestyles abusing our bodies and brains, maybe we can just source more wild and near wild foods and prevent the diseases of nutrition. Alternatively, try LIFE (Lyophilized Indigenous Food Essentials)™ which is a simple way to add more than 2 dozen whole foods to your daily diet and enjoy the enhanced lifespan AND healthspan benefits. LIFE contains 14 whole, wild Australian foods sourced from remote communities and growers using sustainable, organic methods.

    You can also refer to my book, Wild Foods; Looking back 60,000 years for clues to our future survival. It explains what we have done to our food supply and to the foods themselves and what we can do to combat the negative effects of our rubbish foods.
    23rd Jan 2019
    So dietary changes are the root cause of their lower lifespan these days? Hmmm....
    23rd Jan 2019
    No I think we are still a long way off. Far more research is necessary and with far bigger cohorts than currently used (161 people in this study makes it a very small study).

    All these recent reports are but small pieces of a very large jigsaw. And even if there is a clear understanding of all the mechanisms that cause or contribute to all the different forms of dementia, we are still a long way from prevention or cure, whether with pharmaceuticals or otherwise.

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