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A new culprit of cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease

It has long been known that patients with Alzheimer's disease have abnormalities in the vast network of blood vessels in the brain. Some of these alterations may also contribute to age-related cognitive decline in people without dementia. However, the ways in which such vascular pathologies contribute to cognitive dysfunction have largely remained a mystery. Until now, that is.

Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes, led by Senior Investigator Katerina Akassoglou, Ph.D., showed for the first time that a blood-clotting protein called fibrinogen is responsible for a series of molecular and cellular events that can destroy connections between neurons in the brain and result in cognitive decline.

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