Your University magazine 2022-23

Page 13

Pioneering research by Dr Osman Shabir has demonstrated that heart disease can directly cause brain dysfunction which can lead to dementia.

This is happening in heart disease patients before the build-up of fat in the brain’s blood vessels (atherosclerosis) and is a prelude to dementia. Until now it’s been unclear how some forms of vascular dementia can happen years before atherosclerosis in the brain. The researchers also discovered that the combination of heart disease and a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s disease trebles the amount of betaamyloid, a protein that builds up and triggers Alzheimer’s, and increases the levels of an inflammatory gene in the brain. With this knowledge we can find ways to intervene much earlier in a heart disease patient’s life to try to prevent the onset of dementia. Dr Osman Shabir’s work contributes to both the Healthy Lifespan Institute and the Neuroscience Institute.

The build-up of fat in the brain’s blood vessels (atherosclerosis) is a prelude to dementia.

Until now it’s been unclear how some forms of vascular dementia can happen years before atherosclerosis in the brain.”

Read more about this vital research at: bit.ly/alzheimers-protein-research 2022/2023 | YOUR UNIVERSITY 13