Scientists are still studying the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease, but a toxic plaque called beta-amyloid protein is thought to be one of the possible causes,media reported. A new study has found that using natural fluctuations in blood vessels, called vascular movement, can better remove the plaque.
Our heartbeat, breathing and nervous system all cause our blood vessels to move and shake, but another little-known driving driver of vascular vibration is called vascular movement. Although the exact cause is little known, vascular contraction causes the contraction and expansion of blood vessels, which occur spontaneously and occur very little.
Vascular movement has been studied as a way to better understand blood flow in people with diabetes and heart disease, as well as how our tissues extract oxygen. Now, a team of medical scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital has begun studying its relationship to the accumulation of substances in the blood vessels of the brain.
To do this, the team injected a carbohydrate called glucan into the brains of mice and tracked it with fluorescent markers and subsequent imaging tests. The scientists observed that the circulatory movement of low-frequency blood vessels plays a “critical” role in removing glucans.
In further experiments, scientists inspired stronger vascular motion oscillations, further evidence of increased clearance rates. They then observed the deseusicing of blood vessels in mice that accumulate beta-amyloid protein on the walls of the brain. Here, they find that the pulsation is blocked and the clearance rate is reduced as a result.
If these results can be replicated in human subjects, they will suggest that vascular shrinkage may be associated with Alzheimer’s disease. If scientists can figure out ways to maintain their best function in Alzheimer’s patients, they can maintain the brain’s ability to remove trash.
Lead author Susanne van Veluw said: “We are able to demonstrate for the first time that large vasodilation and contractions that occur spontaneously at ultra-low frequencies are the main driving forces for the removal of brain deposits. Our findings underscore the importance of the vasculature system in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease. If we direct treatment strategies to promote healthy veins that improve the removal rate of beta-amyloid protein in the brain, we may be able to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in the future. “
The study was published in the journal Neuron.