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Neurofluid flow and Alzheimer’s disease

May. 22, 2023, 8:00 AM

by Leigh MacMillan

Alzheimer’s disease — the most common cause of dementia — includes accumulation of the protein amyloid-beta in the brain. Recent studies are exploring the idea that disruptions in neurofluid flow and waste clearance may contribute to protein accumulation, but human studies of neurofluid circulation are limited. 

Daniel Claassen, MD, and colleagues have used novel MRI methods to noninvasively quantify measures of neurofluid circulation including cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) production in the choroid plexus, CSF flow and parasagittal dural anatomy — a site of CSF egress. 

In a study of 23 older adults with a spectrum of Alzheimer’s disease pathology, they found an association between whole-brain amyloid-beta accumulation (assessed using PET imaging) and parasagittal dural space volume. There were no relationships between amyloid-beta and choroid plexus activity or CSF flow. 

The findings, reported in Brain Communications, suggest that hypertrophy of the parasagittal dural space and its role in CSF egress may be related to amyloid-beta retention in Alzheimer’s disease.

Authors of the study included Alexander Song, Kilian Hett, PhD, Jarrod Eisma, Colin McKnight, MD, Jason Elenberger, Adam Stark, Hakmook Kang, PhD, Yan Yan, Ciaran Considine, PhD, and Manus Donahue, PhD. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grants AG062574 and AT011456).

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