Alzheimer’s and dementia are some neurocognitive diseases typically correlated with aging. However, recent studies suggest that cognitive impairment is linked to inflammation caused by a leaky blood-brain barrier rather than the natural process of getting old. It’s safe to say that more research is needed to establish the link between the two.
For Kaufer and fellow scientists, that hypothesis is supported by several years of studying epilepsy among brain trauma patients. They discovered that certain brain injuries, like stroke or football concussions, inflict damage on the blood-brain barrier, which protects your brain from foreign harmful agents, such as albumin, entering through the bloodstream.
In their recent experiment, they were able to disrupt the inflammatory response triggered by albumin and reverse pathological signs of aging (thereby improving brain function) in young and old mice by using a new anti-inflammatory drug on their brain.
Lest we get ahead of ourselves, it’s important to note that few animal studies have succeeded in translating to clinical human trials. So, these results among mice may not necessarily be transferable to human cases of dementia, according to scientists.
Thanks to Kaufer and her team, they discovered new academic insights into rodent brain aging and they successfully developed new methods and techniques to test for leaks in the blood-brain barrier among patients.
Check out the original story at New Atlas.