For the first time, the difference between
amyloid buildup in brain blood vessels and amyloid buildup around brain
neurons has been pointed out by a team of neuroscience and
biochemistry researchers at Stony Brook University.
‘Unique structure of the brain blood vessel amyloid could promote different inflammatory responses, which contributes differently to cognitive impairment and dementia.’
Accumulating amounts of amyloid, which is a fragment of a larger
protein, in the brain have been associated with the development of
dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.
Lead investigator William Van Nostrand, PhD, a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, says the findings stem from collaborative work with Steven Smith,
PhD, a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Cell Biology.
They, along with colleagues, mapped out the structural signature of
amyloid that accumulates in brain blood vessels and compared it to the
known structure of amyloid that accumulate in plaque around brain
The team found that the subunits of the amyloid that
accumulates in vessels line up uniquely and in alternating patterns,
which presents in a near opposite pattern of amyloid buildup in plaque
"This discovery may help guide us to the development of a new diagnostic tool or therapeutic intervention for dementia patients who display this vessel pathology," summarized Dr. Van
They hypothesize that the unique structure of this
brain blood vessel amyloid could promote different pathological
responses, ie, inflammation, which likely contributes differently to
cognitive impairment and dementia than neuron amyloid.