Signs that a stroke has occurred are often found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. And there is new evidence that these blood clots such as these may play a significant role in Alzheimer's Disease--causing poor blood flow to the brain.
The protein fragment that plays a defining role in Alzheimer's, beta-amyloid, can stimulate the formation of resilient blood clots. Using mice, researchers found that anti-clotting drugs improved memory. The downside is that anticoagulants carry a risk of hemorrhage.
Beta-amyloid accumulates in the blood vessels that feed the brain, cutting off the brain's blood supply.
It is hoped that researchers will be able "to develop drugs that are capable of safely improving cerebrall blood flow and staving off dementia in Alzheimer's disease."
Neuron, June 10, 2010