As growing numbers of America’s baby boomers reach retirement, neuroscientists are expanding their efforts to understand and treat one of the leading health issues affecting this population: age-related neurological deterioration, including stroke and dementia.
One factor coming under increased study is cerebral microbleeds, experienced by nearly 20 percent of people by age 60 and nearly 40 percent by age 80. Research into these small areas of brain bleeding, caused by a breakdown of miniscule blood vessels, is shedding light on how the condition may contribute to these neurological changes.
With microbleeds common in older individuals, physicians need to take it into consideration when treating other brain-related issues, said Dr. Mark Fisher, professor of neurology, anatomy & neurobiology, and pathology & laboratory medicine at UC Irvine. This is especially important with stroke prevention measures, which often involve medications that interfere with blood clotting and could exacerbate microbleeds. Stroke risk escalates with age, especially after 55, making stroke one of the leading causes of disability and death in the elderly.
In two current papers published online in Frontiers in Neurology and Stroke, Fisher writes about the brain’s intricate system to protect itself against hemorrhaging. This system seems to break down as we get older, resulting in microbleeds that develop spontaneously and become increasingly common with aging.
“The next step in stroke prevention will require that we address both blood clotting and protection of the blood vessels,” he said. “This seems to be the best way to reduce the risk of microbleeds when it’s necessary to limit blood clotting for stroke prevention.”
In his Stroke article, Fisher describes how newer medications interfere with blood clotting (to protect against stroke) while at the same time protecting the blood vessel wall (to help prevent bleeding). And in Frontiers in Neurology, he suggests that MRI screening be used more strategically to identify patients with microbleeds, allowing their physicians to adjust treatments accordingly.
“With the prevalence of microbleeds, it’s important that we better understand this neurological factor as we develop and proceed with brain-related treatments for the elderly,” Fisher said. “Identifying and controlling microbleeds may be an important step in a therapeutic approach to maximize brain health during the process of aging. This is a critical issue requiring further study.”
His work is supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant NS 20989).
About the University of California, Irvine: Located in coastal Orange County, near a thriving high-tech hub in one of the nation’s safest cities, UC Irvine was founded in 1965. One of only 62 members of the Association of American Universities, it’s ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 years old by the London-based Times Higher Education. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UC Irvine has more than 28,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.3 billion annually to the local economy.
Media access: UC Irvine maintains an online directory of faculty available as experts to the media at today.uci.edu/experts. Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use an on-campus ISDN line to interview UC Irvine faculty and experts, subject to availability and university approval. For more UC Irvine news, visit news.uci.edu. Additional resources for journalists may be found at communications.uci.edu/for-journalists.
Tom Vasich | EurekAlert!
Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan
Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain
20.02.2017 | Universität Zürich
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine
20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine