Alzheimer’s Research Update: New Insights Into the Blood-Brain Barrier

July 24th, 2015

Zlokovic_Berislav_CMYK_enlargedIn healthy individuals, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a fine mesh filter that transports only select molecules from the body’s main circulatory system into the brain in a highly controlled manner, protecting the more delicate brain from a variety of dangers, and transports certain molecules back out of the brain as well. It has been known for some time that while the BBB experiences some structural changes as a normal consequence of aging, it appears to undergo more degradation in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Precisely when and how, though, does the BBB become compromised, and does it happen as a prelude to Alzheimer’s or as a cause of it? These are essential questions. Thanks to three recent studies by Berislav Zlokovic, M.D., Ph.D. (pictured), of the University of Southern California, we are getting closer to answering them.

Read more on these studies from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, a non-profit supporting the work of Dr. Zlokovic and other top Alzheimer’s researchers.