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Alzheimer’s Disease

traumatic brain injury alzheimer's disease
The image displays a TBI-affected brain’s white matter connectivity as inferred using diffusion tensor imaging and streamline tractography. The brain surface is rendered as a translucent layer to provide anatomical context for the streamline display. White matter connections and the brain surface are displayed using different colors across for the same subject. (Image/Kenneth Rostowsky)

Brain changes following traumatic brain injury share similarities with Alzheimer’s disease

Using MRIs and machine learning, USC researchers mapped comparable degenerative changes in both gray and white matter of the brain.

Alzheimer's drug USC
In this image taken from tissue of an Alzheimer’s patient, the large pink-and-blue plaque on the lower right contains the abnormal protein amyloid. Also seen are several neurofibrillary tangles (smaller blue areas). Both of these abnormalities disrupt the normal working of the brain. (Image/Simon Fraser, Science Source)

Restricted blood flow in the brain could be tied to Alzheimer’s

A USC research team has found strong evidence that keeping blood vessels healthy can help prevent cognitive decline.

pericytes Alzheimer's APOE4 gene
Damage to pericytes, the layer of cells that wrap around blood vessels in the brain, leads to decline in cognition and is accelerated in people who carry the APOE4 gene. (Image/Courtesy of Jim Stanis and Arthur W. Toga, USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute)

Alzheimer’s gene triggers early breakdowns in blood-brain barrier, predicting cognitive decline

Although scientists have long known APOE4 is a leading risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, they were unsure how exactly it drives a decline in memory. USC researchers now believe they have an answer.

cardiovascular drugs reduce dementia risk
Though there are no drugs that can treat Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, even small delays in onset that have been linked to statins and other blood pressure medicines can dramatically reduce the burden dementia on patients, caregivers and the health system as a whole. (Photo/iStock)

Certain combinations of cardiovascular drugs may reduce dementia risk

In a first, a USC study has shown that drugs already being used for blood pressure and cholesterol control could provide benefits for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.