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2011 Grants - Iadecola
Interaction Between Hypertension and Alzheimer's Disease
Constantino Iadecola, M.D.
Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University
New York, New York
2011 Zenith Fellows Award
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a known risk factor for later development of Alzheimer's disease. However, the mechanisms explaining this association are not well understood. High blood pressure is known to damage blood vessels in the brain, reducing their ability to respond to demands for increased blood supply. This damage may be involved in the development of Alzheimer's pathology.
Constantino Iadecola, M.D., and colleagues are studying how high blood pressure affects Alzheimer's pathology, especially the ability of the brain to remove beta-amyloid, a protein fragment implicated in the development of such pathology. Using mice that have been genetically altered to express high levels of beta-amyloid, the researchers will use drugs or additional genetic modifications to induce high blood pressure. They will then examine how high blood pressure affects the development of Alzheimer-like pathology. Dr. Iadecola's research team will also use biochemical measurements of oxidative stress to determine if the effects of high blood pressure are mediated by increases in oxidation. These studies will improve knowledge of how high blood pressure increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease, and may suggest treatment approaches to reduce that risk.