Updated 05/17/2012 02:16 PM
Blood Vessel Health and Alzheimer's Disease
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A new report is shedding light on how a gene that causes Alzheimer's disease damages a patient's brain and its connection with blood vessels.
A report in the medical journal Nature released Wednesday shows the genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's triggers a wave of signaling that ultimately results in leaky blood vessels in the brain.
The presence of the gene ApoE4 allows for an increased amount of a protein called Cyclophilin-A to break down cells lining blood vessels.
The report was compiled by a group of scientists, including some from the University of Rochester.
"Our study sheds light onto a new way that we can potentially treat and prevent this disease from happening by strengthening the blood vessels in the brain and promoting overall cardiovascular health," said Robert Bell, PhD, research associate at the University of Rochester.
People who carry two copies of the ApoE4 gene have roughly eight to ten times the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease than people who do not.