Dementia research news winter 2016

5. Dementia research news winter 2016 in brief

Researchers examining brain tissue from people who died with Alzheimer's disease have identified microscopic particles from polluted air in the brain. Particles of a mineral called magnetite are thought to enter the brain through nerves in the nose, but it is not known whether this has any effect on brain health or conditions such as Alzheimer's. 

A gene delivered to the brain by a specially designed virus has been shown to reduce levels of amyloid protein in mice. This is an important target for Alzheimer's disease treatments. Although gene therapy has shown promise in mice, it is not yet clear whether it will be suitable for people. 

The American Heart Association has issued a scientific statement reinforcing the link between high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, during midlife and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's or vascular dementia in later life. This effect is thought to be due to damage to blood vessels in the brain.