Virginia Tech scientists developing new strategy to thwart Alzheimer’s
Scientists often focus on abnormal accumulations of proteins called plaques in the brain in efforts to find a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. But the effects of these plaques have not been clear.
Virginia Tech scientists are exploring how these deposits may be degrading the brain’s vascular system, which circulates blood, providing oxygen and glucose to the cells responsible for perception, movement, thinking, and memory, while also eliminating metabolic waste.
Supported by a new, five-year, $2.8 million National Institutes of Health grant awarded to Harald Sontheimer, a glial neurobiologist at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, scientists are probing changes caused by aging in the circulatory system in the normal brain and Alzheimer’s disease brain.
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and, eventually, the ability to carry out tasks, according to the National Institute on Aging. As the disease progresses, once-healthy neurons stop functioning, lose connections with other neurons, and die.
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