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2012 Grants - Reese
The Role of Amyloid Deposition in Blood-Brain Barrier Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease
Lindsay C. Reese, Ph.D.
Oregon Health & Science University
2012 U.S.–U.K. Young Investigator Exchange Fellowship
Amyloid plaques in the brain are one of the hallmark features of Alzheimer's disease. In many people with Alzheimer's, amyloid plaques also occur in the blood vessels that supply the brain, and there is evidence that insufficient blood flow may contribute to the causes of Alzheimer's disease.
The blood-brain barrier separates cells in the brain from the blood circulation and controls what molecules enter and leave the brain. Some evidence suggests that the blood-brain barrier is damaged in Alzheimer's disease, possibly as a result of amyloid deposition or impaired blood flow.
Lindsay C. Reese, Ph.D., and colleagues have proposed to examine the role of impaired blood flow and amyloid deposition in blood-brain barrier damage. The researchers will obtain brain tissue samples from people who died of Alzheimer's disease or other causes and examine the molecules present in the blood-brain barrier and whether they are affected by the disease.
Dr. Reese and colleagues will also study molecules in the blood to determine if any are markers of damage to the blood-brain barrier. These studies will provide new insights into how the blood-brain barrier is affected by amyloid deposition and impaired blood flow, and may suggest targets for drugs to prevent damage. The U.S.-U.K. Young Investigator Exchange Fellowship also promotes international collaboration between investigators.