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2011 Grants - Cribbs
Hypertension, Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy and Neuroinflammation
David H. Cribbs, Ph.D.
University of California - Irvine
2011 Investigator-Initiated Research Grant
It is becoming increasingly evident that pathological changes in blood vessels of the brain may contribute to some forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. Indeed, most individuals with Alzheimer's disease also have pathological changes in brain blood vessels. Furthermore, high blood pressure (hypertension), which damages blood vessels, is known to be a strong risk factor for later development of dementia.
One form of pathology in brain blood vessels is known as cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA). This condition is associated with abnormal accumulation of beta-amyloid in the blood vessels, leading to impairments in blood flow. Beta-amyloid is a protein fragment also implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease, especially the amyloid plaques that are a characteristic feature of Alzheimer's pathology. Other than the involvement of beta-amyloid, the relationships between high blood pressure, CAA and Alzheimer's disease are not well understood.
David H. Cribbs, Ph.D. and colleagues have proposed to study how high blood pressure contributes to the development of Alzheimer's pathology and CAA. The researchers plan to use mice that have been genetically altered to express different forms of CAA or Alzheimer-like pathology. They plan to induce high blood pressure in these animals and study how it affects the development of pathologies in the blood vessels of the brain and within the brain itself. These studies will advance our understanding of how high blood pressure contributes to the development of brain and blood vessel pathologies associated with declines in brain function and dementia.