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The blood-brain barrier in Alzheimer’s disease
Published on June 28, 2021 36 min
A selection of talks on Neuroscience
Roles of microglia in the healthy brain
- Dr. Marie-Ève Tremblay
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Bioelectronic medicine: immunomodulation by vagus nerve stimulation
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Hello, my name is Anika Hartz. I'm Associate Professor at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. This presentation focuses on the blood-brain barrier in Alzheimer's disease.
I will first give an introduction on the blood-brain barrier, how it was discovered, a little bit on the anatomy and barrier function. Then I will give an overview on Alzheimer's disease, how the disease was discovered, some numbers and facts, disease pathology, prognosis and treatment, and I will then talk about how the blood-brain barrier changes in Alzheimer's disease. There we will touch upon cerebral blood flow, glucose transport across the blood-brain barrier, A-Beta clearance and blood-brain barrier leakage. The last section, I will highlight some recent approaches on how to achieve blood-brain barrier repair. Then I will end the presentation with a summary.
Let's get started with the blood-brain barrier and how it was discovered.
Paul Ehrlich, a German microbiologist at the Charite in Berlin discovered the blood-brain barrier by pure chance. Ehrlich initial intent was to determine the oxygen demands of the body. In his experiments, Ehrlich injected rodents intravenously with so-called wild dyes, and observed that all organs were stained with the dyes, except for the brain and the spinal cord. Several years later in 1913 Edwin Goldman, Ehrlich graduate student repeated the original studies and observed that injecting trypan blue intrathecally stains the brain parenchyma and spinal cord. Various organs were not. The opposite effect compared to intravenous dye injection. This finding confirmed Goldman's hypothesis that there is a barrier between the central nervous system and the periphery, and provided further evidence for the existence of compartments and the barrier between the brain and the periphery. In 1908, Paul Ehrlich was awarded a Nobel Prize in recognition of his work on immunity. However, in the blood-brain barrier research field, Paul Ehrlich is celebrated as the father of the barrier, but he himself never quite believed in the barrier. Today, Ehrlich and Goldman's experiments are considered the beginning of blood-brain barrier research. However, the term blood-brain barrier was not introduced until 1921 by the Russian physiologist Denas Dan.