Investigating the impact of zinc in regulating blood flow in the Alzheimer’s brain
Reduced blood flow is an early pathological change in Alzheimer’s disease that contributes to reduced brain function and neurodegeneration.
We have recently discovered a major role of zinc in controlling vascular blood flow through its actions in vascular smooth muscle, endothelium and perivascular sensory nerves (Betrie et al Nature Communications, 2021).
We have also discovered that cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), a common pathology in cerebral blood vessels that occurs with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, is enriched with zinc. However, the impact of zinc sequestration in CAA in affecting cerebral blood flow and is not known, and will be tested in this project using a range of in vivo, in vitro and molecular techniques.
Importantly, we have discovered a zinc based treatment that could be tested in clinical trials if this research demonstrates the benefit of zinc in improving blood flow in the Alzheimer’s brain.
Take part in this project
Students who are applying to study at The Florey can register their interest in this project. Refer to our step-by-step guide to help you with your application.