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Study identifies new area of dementia research

Study identifies new area of dementia research
18th November 2010

A new scientific study has opened up a new area of research into the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center, have established that small cells in the brain known as pericytes play a crucial role in the onset of dementia.

The study found that these cells help to direct blood flow in the brain and protect sensitive tissue from harmful substances.

By manipulating levels of pericytes in the brains of mice, researchers were able to mimic the onset of dementia, meaning that they could be a feature in future dementia treatments.

"It turns out that pericytes are very important for helping maintain a brain environment crucial to the health of neurons. The pericyte offers us an exciting new target for new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases," said study leader Dr Berislav Zlokovic.

Scientists at Rush Medical Center in Chicago recently suggested that a simple MRI could diagnose the onset of dementia at an early stage.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.