Blood provides the brain's energy supply in the form of glucose and oxygen. Earlier studies have suggested the first change in Alzheimer's disease is a decrease in cerebral blood flow.
The study, published today in the journal Science and funded by the European Research Council, Wellcome and the Wolfson Foundation, looked at the role of pericytes, cells wrapped around capillaries that have the ability to contract and regulate blood flow.
Researchers - Capillaries - Alzheimer's-affected - Brain - Tissue
Researchers examined capillaries in Alzheimer's-affected human brain tissue and in mice bred to develop Alzheimer's pathology, and found that they were squeezed by pericytes. They also applied amyloid beta protein (which accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer's) to slices of healthy brain tissue, and found that the capillaries were squeezed as a result.
They calculated that the constriction was severe enough to halve blood flow, which is comparable to the decrease in blood flow found in parts of the brain affected by Alzheimer's.
Author - Dr - Ross - Nortley - UCL
Lead author Dr Ross Nortley (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology) said: "Our...
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