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2012 Grants - Taheri
Monitoring Effect of Hypertension on the BBB in APP Mice Model of Alzheimer's Disease
Saeid Taheri, Ph.D.
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, South Carolina
2012 New Investigator Research Grant
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) separates the brain from the blood circulation and controls the flow of nutrients into the brain and waste products away from the brain. In Alzheimer's disease, the removal of waste products from the brain may be impaired, suggesting that the blood-brain barrier is dysfunctional. One of the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease is high blood pressure (hypertension), which has been suggested to damage the blood brain barrier and impair its ability to remove waste products from the brain.
Saeid Taheri, Ph.D., and colleagues have proposed to study the function of the blood-brain barrier in the early stages of neurodegenerative disease. Using mice that have been genetically engineered to have Alzheimer-like brain degeneration, the researchers plan to compare mice that have high blood pressure to those that have normal blood pressure. They will measure the function of the blood-brain barrier in these two groups of mice using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a diagnostic tool to observe structural changes in the brain.
By studying the mice before the onset of disease, the researchers plan to assess the effects of high blood pressure on the blood brain barrier and how it affects the development of Alzheimer's-like disease in the brain. These studies will examine the mechanisms by which a major risk factor causes disease, and may suggest ways to reduce the progression or development of Alzheimer's disease.