Inflammation might lead to development of Alzheimer's disease, according to a new study.
Two research studies published by William A. Banks has shown how inflammation triggers disease, and how can it be treated.
It is believed that the toxic levels of amyloid beta protein, the substance responsible for Alzheimer's disease, accumulate in the brain because a pump that pushes it into the blood and past the blood-brain barrier malfunctions.
The blood-brain barrier is a system of cells that regulates the exchange of substances between the brain and the blood.
The blood-brain barrier transporter known as LRP is the pump that removes amyloid beta protein from the brain and into the bloodstream."LRP malfunctions like a stop light stuck on red, and keeps amyloid beta protein trapped in the brain," said Banks.
Inflammation, which is part of the body's natural immune response, occurs when the body activates white blood cells, and produces chemicals to fight infection and invading foreign substances.
"We induced inflammation in mice and found that it turned off the LRP pump that lets amyloid beta protein exit the brain into the bloodstream," Banks said.
"It also revved up an entrance pump that transports amyloid beta into the brain. Both of these actions would increase the amount of amyloid beta protein in the brain," he added.
Banks said that treatment with drug indomethacin prevented inflammation from turning off the LRP (exit pump).