This is a series of MRI scans of patients suffering from dementia, according to the Scientist magazine. This video is taken from a study by Mandell and colleagues (UHN, University of Toronto, ON, Canada). Here is the original source for the article: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.24285/abstract
It is very interesting because it show a brain aging over time and that is interesting is the successive and transient episodes of mini-stroke occurring in the white matter (where all nerve fibers transit, like a super-highway). After reading the abstract, they are indeed acute transient ischemic stroke, that translate into transient periods in which these regions (as noted by the white spots coming and leaving) are starving oxygen and glucose supply due to an interrupted blood flow. I have been studying “in a Petri dish” the meaning of such stress on the vasculature and we know that implies the opening of the blood-brain barrier (yes that’s my research of interest). It would be interesting how such events results in the opening of the BBB and how it affects neurons. To give you an idea what does it mean for your brain, it is like spilling liquid (coffee, soda..) on your laptop. You see what I mean, big catastrophe. Things happens the same to neurons.
Now the next big question is what happen to oligodendrocytes and how do they respond to ischemic injury? Oligodendrocytes are cells that wrap axon fibers the same way that plastic wrap your electrical wires. For this I don’t know much about oligodendrocytes but that would be something very interesting to investigate.
Here we go, another neurological disease in which the dysfunctional BBB may be involved. Brain scientists, are you hearing us?