Marta Cortes-Canteli, Ph.D.
In the last few years, many Alzheimer’s researchers have been working under the assumption that beta amyloid, the protein that makes up Alzheimer’s plaques, damages brain cells. Other scientists, however, argue that Alzheimer’s is really due to blood vessel or vascular disease that reduces blood flow to brain cells. Maybe both are right -- people with dementia tend to have multiple pathologies in their brains, and these pathologies seem to interact to increase the risk for and severity of dementia.A new paper from researchers at The Rockefeller University suggests that a protein called fibrinogen might be involved in this interaction. Postdoctoral fellow Marta Cortes-Canteli and her colleagues focused specifically on the role of fibrinogen and beta amyloid in the presence of abnormal blood clots and the cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) my father’s autopsy showed.