Blood Vessel Leaks in Brain May Lead to Dementia

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Scientists have found another reason for dementia, which is blood vessel leaks in the brain. These leaks increase the risk of dementia significantly. According to a research, it has been proven that people experiencing issues with thinking and memory have much leakier blood vessels in the hippocampus. The Director at the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the University of Southern California, Dr. Berislav Zlokovic, states that the hippocampus is the exact area that deals with memory and learning, and blood vessel leaks in the brain become a cause of dementia.

In another brain study, scientists mentioned that blood vessel leaks in the brain are common as people age, though the process speeds up in those who are at risk of Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. The same research also notes that spotting the symptoms of blood vessel leaks makes early diagnosis of dementia possible and, similarly, medication can be used to seal the leaky blood vessels. This provides hope to the patients and their families for an early diagnosis of dementia, giving them a chance for treatment and an opportunity to stop dementia before it causes fatal harm to the brain.

The research was carried out with a longitudinal study on the people who died due to dementia. After the medical reports of blood vessel leaks, it was considered one of the major causes behind dementia. A special layer of cells, the brain-blood barrier, in normal conditions prevents bacteria and toxins that flow in the bloodstream from assimilating with the fluid that surrounds brain cells. When the layer of brain-blood barrier breaks down, harmful bacteria leak into the fluid that surrounds brain cells, eventually damaging and killing the cells.

However, it is not clear whether the breakdown of the layer was due to dementia or if it became a cause of dementia, making this no less than another chicken and egg mystery. Special attention was paid to the hippocampus, as it is the key area affected by dementia. It is shown that this area is highly sensitive to brain damage, especially by diseases like Alzheimer’s, which are closely linked with memory and thinking capabilities.

The research finding also proves another medical notion that people with atherosclerosis and other problems associated with blood vessels are more vulnerable to dementia. Many points in the research clears that dementia is closely connected with vascular damage.
Medical and pharmacological experts, after this major research, are seeking more convenient and quick ways to prevent and treat blood vessel leaks, minimizing the risk of dementia.