Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
July 19, 2024 ·  2 min read

‘Eye-opening’ Dementia Breakthrough Announced by USC Researchers

The Alzheimers Society has recognized a recent study by the University of California. Their finding suggested that an early onset indicator of dementia is leaky blood vessels in the brain. This new finding could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment to reverse or delay this neurological disease.

Eye-opening results presented themselves to a team of researchers at the USC. As they found that repairing capillary leaks could potentially slow down the protein build-up responsible for this debilitating and devastating condition. While more studies are still needed, Dr. James Pickett, head of research at the Alzheimer’s Society, said:

“Our researchers have been working for years to investigate how blood vessel health links to dementia, and to understand how leaks in the blood-brain barrier could increase the risk of dementia.

This study suggests these leaks are happening very early in the development of Alzheimer’s, sometimes even before toxic proteins build up, and could, therefore, be used to diagnose the disease earlier.”

These findings by USC appeared in the January 14 issue of Nature Medicine. This five-year study involved 161 older adults and showed that people with the worst memory problems also had the most leakage in their brain’s blood vessels — regardless of whether abnormal amyloid and tau proteins were present.

“If the blood-brain barrier is not working properly, then there is the potential for damage,” said co-author of the study, Arthur Toga. “It suggests the vessels aren’t properly providing the nutrients and blood flow that the neurons need, and you have the possibility of toxic proteins getting in.”

This information could influence an earlier diagnosis with the use of brain scans and pharmaceuticals along with supporting natural modalities.


  1. Blood-brain Barrier Breakdown Is an Early Biomarker Of Human Cognitive Dysfunction. Retrieved from:
  2. . Hopper, L. (2019, January 13). USC Alzheimer’s researchers find new culprit and potential treatment target for disease. Retrieved February 1, 2019, from
  3. Nelson, E. (n.d.). USC Researchers Find Evidence That Dementia May Be Caused by a Breakdown of Blood-Brain Barrier. Retrieved February 1, 2019, from