Brain Study Paves Way for Therapy for Common Cause of Dementia

Brain Study Paves Way for Therapy for Common Cause of Dementia

As people live longer thanks to modern medical science, that same long life is leaving them around long enough for diseases and conditions to develop that once they would have passed on prior to succumbing to. Dementia is a key disease for the elderly, robbing patients of their mental faculties and the ability to function on even the most basic levels in advanced cases. Research has been proceeding at great pace around the world, trying to understand all the various cognitive disorders of dementia better, and hopefully find a curative treatment that could safeguard us as we live into our golden years.

Small vessel disease (SVD) – is where changes in the small blood vessels in the brain cause damage to the cells in the brain.    New research shows that when the cells that line small blood vessels in the brain become dysfunctional, they secrete a molecule called myelin which leads to brain damage and interrupts nerve cell signals around the brain.

SVD is:

  • A major cause of dementia (50% of all cases in the UK).
  • Can worsen the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • A major cause of stroke (1 in 5 cases).

This new study showed that rats could be treated with drugs that stopped and reversed the symptoms of SVD preventing damage to the brain.

Key Points:

  • 1There are 47 million people worldwide living with dementia and it will be 115 million by 2050.
  • 2Rats were successfully treated with drugs that stop blood vessel cells from becoming dysfunctional.
  • 3Linking small vessel disease with dementia may be a first step in finding a cure.


This important research helps us understand why small vessel disease happens, providing a direct link between small blood vessels and changes in the brain that are linked to dementia. It also shows that these changes may be reversible, which paves the way for potential treatments.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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