One of the characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease is the buildup of beta-amyloid protein in the brain. And one of the challenges scientists face in preventing or delaying the onset of this type of dementia is that to eliminate these deposits of toxic substances, it would be necessary to administer therapeutic agents through the blood-brain barrier of the brain, a system responsible for protecting this organ against foreign substances but which, in this case, makes it difficult Alzheimer’s treatment.
A new study has now discovered a possible way around this problem. It is a new therapy which consists of exchange mouse blood that had amyloid precursor proteins that cause Alzheimer’s disease replacing it completely with the blood of healthy mice of the same genetic origin. These findings were published in Molecular psychiatry.
The results of this research provide “proof of concept for the use of technologies commonly used in medical practice, such as plasmapheresis Oh there blood dialysisto ‘clean’ the blood of patients with Alzheimer’s disease, reducing the accumulation of toxic substances in the brain,” said the Dr Claudio Sotoof UTHealth Houston McGovern School of Medicine (UNITED STATES.). “This approach has the advantage that the disease can be treated in the circulation rather than in the brain.”
Treating Alzheimer’s disease through blood circulation
Dr. Soto’s team had done previous studies that found that the misfolding, aggregation and accumulation of beta-amyloid proteins in the brain play a key role in Alzheimer’s disease. For this reason, an intervention aimed at preventing and eliminating misfolded protein aggregates is considered a treatment that can be effective in the fight against this neurodegenerative disease.
“Cleansing the blood of Alzheimer’s patients, by reducing the buildup of toxic substances in the brain, has the advantage that the disease can be treated in the circulation rather than in the brain”
These scientists have verified with their investigations that manipulating the circulating components in Alzheimer’s disease could be the key to solving this problem. “The brain’s blood vessels are classically considered the body’s most impermeable barrier,” said researcher Akihiko Urayama.
After performing numerous blood transfusions, the researchers found that the development of amyloid plaques in the brain of a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease was reduced by 40-80%. And that this reduction also led to improved spatial memory performance in aged mice with amyloid pathology and decreased plaque growth rates over time.
The exact mechanism by which this blood exchange process is not known decreases amyloid buildup and improves memorybut among the possible explanations is the theory that the reduction of beta-amyloid proteins in the blood could facilitate the redistribution of the peptide from the brain to the periphery.
Another hypothesis suggests that blood exchange somehow prevents the accumulation of beta-amyloid or inhibits the reuptake of eliminated beta-amyloid. In any case, and whatever the mechanisms of action linked to this blood exchange therapy, this research shows a new way of treating Alzheimer’s disease.