Published on: December 17, 2012
by Andy Coghlan for New Scientist:
Researchers led by David Kleinfeld of the University of California, San Diego, induced tiny strokes in rats by blocking blood vessels called arterioles, stopping blood from reaching capillaries deeper in the brain.
Blocking just a single arteriole caused cell death in all directions for hundreds of micrometres after the blockage. Block several and you can knock out entire brain regions as the damage travels even in areas still fed by intact vessels. It was previously assumed that strokes on this scale would be innocuous.
The damage impaired the animals’ ability to judge when a gap between two platforms was too wide to cross. But giving the rats injections of memantine – a drug already approved to treat people with Alzheimer’s disease – within 45 minutes of the stroke prevented both the damage and loss of function even when multiple vessels were blocked.
In people, these “silent” mini-strokes go unnoticed and are undetectable by brain scans, says Kleinfeld, but could have an impact on brain function over time.
Our event with Dr. Wendy Suzuki explaining how higher levels of physical fitness are associated with better brain structure and higher cognitive function. Highlights video.
Our event with Dr. Wendy Suzuki explaining how higher levels of physical fitness are associated with better brain structure and higher cognitive function. Full video.
Two blood markers, phosphorylated tau 217 (p-tau217) and phosphorylated tau 181 (p-tau181), showed strong diagnostic performances for Alzheimer’s disease and discriminated Alzheimer’s from frontotemporal lobar denervation (FTLD) syndromes and normal cognition, a retrospective study...
The material presented through the Think Tank feature on this website is in no way intended to replace professional medical care or attention by a qualified practitioner. WBHI strongly advises all questioners and viewers using this feature with health problems to consult a qualified physician, especially before starting any treatment. The materials provided on this website cannot and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or choice of treatment. The materials are not exhaustive and cannot always respect all the most recent research in all areas of medicine.