Patients who have a history of blood clots may have a higher risk of developing Alzheimers disease, according to a study published in Neuron.
This is because researchers have discovered that blood clots that have formed abnormally may speed up the degeneration of cognitive function. In particular, studies have found cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA)a peptide in blood vessel walls located in the brain that causes unusual development of blood clotsmay increase a patients chance of Alzheimers.
Investigators are making efforts to combat this health complication, and developing treatments that could slow down the development of the memory disorder.
Using mice that had been genetically altered to display signs of Alzheimers disease, the team tried to lower fibrinogen levels, a protein that greatly contributes to blood clot development. By lowering the amount of fibrinogen in the blood, the animals had less CAA in their blood vessels, allowing the mice to have better performance in memory tests.
These results may lead to more advancements in medication developments that could protect against both Alzheimers disease and blood clots. For instance, researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center recently discovered a compound that is a source of antioxidants, which help protect cognitive function and blood clots and could be used in prescriptions.