PhD student in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Award-winning publication: Beta-amyloid pathology in human brain microvessel extracts from the parietal cortex: relation with cerebral amyloid angiopathy and Alzheimer's disease
Published in: Acta Neuropathologica
Among the characteristic features of Alzheimer's disease is the abnormal accumulation of amyloid beta peptide, or A-beta, which leads to the development of toxic deposits that cause brain cells to die. Microvessel cells support normal brain function by controlling the entry and exit of molecules including A-beta. However, researchers have suggested that they incorrectly regulate the molecule's presence in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Philippe Bourassa observed a reduction in several proteins involved in the elimination of A-beta and an increase in the main proteins that foster its production in patients' brain microvessel cells. He also noted that these irregularities are associated with the loss of cognitive function. His findings reveal that these anomalies in the brain's microvessel cells contribute to the incidence of clinical symptoms and accumulation of A-beta in the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer's disease.