Feb 22, 2016

Ground Zero for Alzheimer’s Disease found at base of brainstem

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

Very interesting since many complex neural diseases also have ties to the brain stem such as Dystonia.

Feb. 22, 2016 — There is a new ground zero for Alzheimer’s Disease, according to a new discovery of a critical but vulnerable region in the brain that appears to be the first place affected by late onset Alzheimer’s disease. It also may be more important for maintaining cognitive function in later life than previously appreciated.

The locus coeruleus is a small, bluish part of the brainstem that releases norepinephrine, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating heart rate, attention, memory, and cognition. Its cells, or neurons, send branch-like axons throughout much of the brain and help regulate blood vessel activity, says a new review of the scientific literature.

Its high interconnectedness may make it more susceptible to the effects of toxins and infections compared to other brain regions, said lead author Mara Mather.

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